Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tears for Mom, Son

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tears for Mom, Son

Article excerpt

RIDGEFIELD -- One day after two beloved members of their parish died in a house fire, dozens gathered Sunday at St. James Episcopal Church to grieve and pray for a woman who was active within the church, and her "sweet" young son.

In between prayer and song, a few worshipers held hands with loved ones while they shed tears for Jeralyn Scibetta and her youngest son, Daniel, 14, both killed Saturday morning in their Linden Avenue home.

Scibetta, a nurse at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, and Daniel, an 8th grader at Slocum Skewes Middle School, were always together at the church, one parishioner recalled. The mother of three was active in church activities and would take part in fundraiser bake sales; her son was enrolled in classes to receive his confirmation in spring, parishioners recalled.

"It's just a shame to see someone in church every Sunday and now you are not going to see them," said Dennis Tibus of Edgewater, as he tried to hold back tears. "I believe God is with them now."

Scibetta's husband, Ben, her son John and John's girlfriend -- whose name has not been released -- escaped before the early- morning fire engulfed the two-story home.

The blaze is still being investigated, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Sunday, adding that it didn't appear to be suspicious -- and that it wasn't electrical. The fire destroyed most of the home where the family had lived for years. On Sunday morning, flowers and two burning candles stood by an orange mesh net erected in front of the house. A slight smell of smoke lingered.

A note attached to bouquet of roses read "Dear Jeri, We will all miss your friendship. You meant so much to many. I know you are taking care of Danny." It was signed Liz, Angie and Nina.

A mile away at St. James, the Rev. Mariano Gargiulo, the church's rector, reminded those in the pews -- some there for a baby's christening -- that their faith teaches that there is a time for birth, a time for death. …

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