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Maria Chinigo, 85, of River Edge and Manahawkin, NJ, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on September 15th, 2023. Daughter of Morris and Elisa Berger, she was born in Krakow, Poland in 1938. Her family experienced much hardship during the war; her mother died in Auschwitz. After her father was liberated from Auschwitz, Maria and her father left Poland to await a visa in Sweden. There, Morris met Helena, his future wife.  Maria and her dad immigrated  to Canada, where they were joined by Helena.  Maria spent her teen years in Montreal, Canada. Maria graduated nursing school at McGill University, training at Montreal General Hospital. After nursing school, she traveled to Europe, hitchhiking across Europe from London to Rome, Italy. This is where Maria met her husband, the love of her life, Eugenio. They married in 1962. They lived in Sicily, running a small hotel, and Rome, where their two beloved sons, Dario and Diego were born. Maria and Eugenio eventually moved their family to settle in River Edge in 1984 after time in Toronto, Canada and Houston, Texas. Maria worked as an RN, a Realtor, and did various other work during the course of her life. She had great compassion for animals of all kinds, especially her darling Wolf, Brandy, Bianca, Chloe & Dora. Maria had an ear for languages, was an avid reader, and spoke fluent English, Polish, Italian, Spanish & French. Maria enjoyed to crochet, watching the birds, and the salt air of her Beach Haven West lagoon.

Maria was predeceased by her husband of over 50 years, Eugenio, in 2013. She will be deeply missed by her sons, Dario, his wife, Beth; Diego, his wife Christine; and grandchildren, Julia, Vincent, Nicholas, Xander, and Evangeline. Known as “Nuni” to all, she lived to shower her grandkids with gifts, love, food and attention.

The funeral mass will be offered at 10 am on Tuesday, September 19th, at St. Peter’s R.C. Church in River Edge. Interment will follow at Westwood Cemetery, Westwood, NJ. The family will receive friends on Monday, 9/18 from 4-8 pm at the Beaugard-McKnight Funeral Home (869 Kinderkamack Rd, River Edge, NJ). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland, NJ.


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