We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Jackson at DeBow Chapel
Kenneth Laurita, 62 of Jackson, NJ passed away on Friday May 27, 2022 in the comfort of his home. Kenneth was born in Flushing - Queens, NY. His family moved to Kearny, NJ where Kenneth quickly became the ‘ Mayor of Kearny’ at the tender age of three. The family then moved to Howell, NJ where Kenneth graduated from Howell High School. Kenneth then started his career in flavors & fragrances, working at I.F.F., Kerry and Manheimer before finding his ‘ Home Away From Home’ at Signature Flavors -Freehold ,NJ. Ten plus years as the Plant Manager surrounded by his second family, not co-workers, sharing in the company’s growth with pride. When Kenneth was not at work, he loved spending time with family & friends and sharing his passion for food, craft beer, hot sauces, his collection of Harley Davidson shirts , the Yankees & the Jets. Going to festivals, having kick ass tail gate gatherings at games & concerts … surrounded by the people he cared for. When Kenneth was home, he would love to read a good book, listen to some Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Jimmy Buffet, Garth Brooks and so many more, watch old movies and historical documentaries. Kenneth was a passionate American and would support our military & veterans in any way he could.
Kenneth’s true passion was for cooking, proudly celebrating his Italian heritage with dishes passed down from his parents & grandparents to any new recipe that caught his interest. Sharing his food with family & friends was a true pleasure for him. No one ever left his kitchen hungry, even if they just stopped by for a quick minute. Leaving trays of food on friends doorsteps when they might be in need to whipping up a favorite recipe for his beloved nieces & nephews, whom he would share his skills with and teach them how to create joy with food. When his vegetable garden was in full bloom, Kenneth would share more than he would use with people he knows needed the plentiful harvest. Kenneth was a quiet man, but spoke volumes with his cooking.
There was a special place in Kenneth’s heart, covered in what he referred to as “ German Shepherd Glitter “ ( fur to the uneducated ). He would proudly show off his ‘ Art Collection ‘ of German Shepherd nose prints on every window to everyone! Tazzie , his first shepherd, had health challenges, but that did not stop Kenneth from doing everything with her, including carrying Tazzie around when she lost the use of her back legs and was laying on the floor next to her when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Then there was Bella, who had a special gift that allowed Kenneth to train her as a Therapy Dog who was on staff at Ocean University Medical Center, Brick NJ as well as Community Medical Center, Toms River …. Spending 1-3 days a week going from floor to floor spreading doggy licks & hugs. After Bella passed, Kenneth adopted ‘ Kali ‘ who was his snuggle buddy & companion 24/7. Kenneth was a Pawsome Fur Daddy.
Kenneth is predeceased by his parents, Joseph & Elsie Laurita and eldest brother, Joseph Laurita.
Kenneth is survived by his High School Sweetheart and wife of 40 years, Darlene M. Laurita. Sister/Godmother Judith Stark and husband Charlie ( Cumming, GA.), Brother James Laurita and Wife Deb ( Manchester, NJ), Brother Anthony Laurita ( Toms River, NJ), Mother In Law Mary Kay Rolling ( Seaford, DE), Brother In Law James Rolling ( Houston, DE.) and Brother In Law Robert Rolling and Wife Alesia ( Oradell, NJ ). Kenneth relished his role as ‘ Uncle Kenny’ to his 10 Nieces & 8 Nephews who loved him and all have memories they hold close to their hearts.
The arrangements are under the direction of the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals 145 St. Catherine Boulevard, Toms River. Committal will be private. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com.
A ‘ Celebration of Life ‘ for family & friends will be held at a later date. Kenneth was not fond of formality and stuffiness. As per his wishes, this will be a casual gathering for family & friends to share food, drink, music and memories. The family knows so many people that have a ‘ Kenneth Story ‘ to share and they are looking forward to hearing them all !! If you would like to honor his life, the family is requesting for donations in the name of Kenneth Laurita be made to the German Shepherd Rescue of New Jersey ( www.gsrnj.org )
Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals DeBow Chapel, 150 West Veterans Hwy., Jackson, NJ is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com.