Obituary for Vita O'Kane
Vita Carmela O’Kane, 75, of Jackson passed away on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. Vita was born in New York City, raised in Clifton, and moved to Howell in 1989 before settling in Westlake Golf & Country Club Jackson in 2006. She was a graduate of Clifton High School and had worked as an administrative assistant for Cornell & Marony Accountants, Putnam Publishing and Ebasco Construction. A member of the St. Veronica’s Choir for 15 years, Vita had a flair for crafts and was a great entertainer, known for planning fabulous parties. She was meticulous about her appearance and wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without being impeccably dressed. The matriarch of the family, Vita was a great cook and baker who enjoyed nothing more than feeding people.
Vita is survived by her husband of 55 years, Thomas M. O’Kane of Jackson; son, Thomas C. O’Kane of Edgewater; daughter, Laurie O’Kane and her husband, Roger Jachts of Manalapan; granddaughter, Taylor Jachts of Manalapan; and brother, Charles Triolo of Toms River.
Visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524) Freehold Township on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Relatives and friends are invited to gather at 11:00 AM on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the funeral home for the procession to her 12:00 Noon Funeral Mass at the Church of St. Veronica, 4215 Route 9 North, Howell. Interment is private. For those who desire, memorial contributions in Vita’s name may be made to CentraState Healthcare Foundation, Statesir Cancer Center, 225 Willowbrook Road, #5, Freehold, NJ 07728. For information, directions or condolence message to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com
Life Story for Vita O'Kane
Vita by Taylor Jachts
Louis E. Boone once said, “The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” These were three things that Vita O’Kane never had to think about. Vita lived a full and beautiful life with her husband, Thomas O’Kane, her son, Thomas O’Kane, her daughter, Laurie O’Kane, and her granddaughter, Taylor Jachts, along with many more family members and friends. Vita was always surrounded by loved ones and she always made the most out of everything. She truly touched the hearts of everyone she met. Vita was a loving sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, who put her heart and soul into everything she did.
Vita was always big on family and was always a very present figure in her family’s lives. Growing up with her brother, Charles Triolo, and her parents, Charles and Carmela Triolo, vita had a wonderful childhood filled with family and laughter. Growing up, she was still just as sassy as we all know her, but she was also shaped into a beautiful young lady with a wonderful life in front of her. Vita’s mother passed away when she was only twenty-five years old, passing down countless traditions and recipes that Vita took and kept for over fifty years. Now she passes those traditions on to her daughter and granddaughter to uphold. She always worked to keep her family close, especially around the holidays, and that still resonates with us today. She was truly the matriarch of the family and gave us all so many wonderful memories.
In her young life, Vita grew up and lived happily and comfortably, and she soon fell in love with a young Irishman named Thomas O’Kane. Her Italian family did not approve of him because he was Irish, and they claimed that Irish men drink too much, but they soon came to love Tom, and five months later, on November 5th, 1961, they were married. And over 50 years later, she still never let Tom live down the fact that he never proposed to her with a ring. But for over 55 years, she was a loving wife to a husband who took the greatest care of her and treated her like a queen.
A short ten months after Vita and Tom were married, they welcomed their first child into the world. They had a son named Thomas O’Kane on September 15th, 1962. And yes, we are sure it was ten months later because every old Italian aunt was making calculations to ensure that Vita was not pregnant before getting married. But from that point on, Vita formed and held a special bond with her son. Three years later, on October 11th, 1965, Vita and Tom welcomed their second child, Laureen O’Kane into the world, and with a bright orange head of hair, Vita and Tom thought that they would have this child forever. Both turned out to be beautiful people. Tommy was always mentally older than he was, did well in school, enjoyed participating in drum corps, and graduated from Rutgers and SUNY with his degree in optometry, opening up his own businesses. Laurie turned out to be a social butterfly, enjoyed a beautiful young life with lasting friendships, went to cosmetology school, and eventually - contradicting what her family thought - got married and started a family of her own. Vita and Tom were proud parents to two beautiful and successful children.
As Vita watched her children grow up, she found out that Laurie was pregnant, and Vita was more than ready for her baby to come. Vita announced that the baby was hers, and that Laurie was simply the vessel. Then, on April 17th, 1999, Vita got to watch her daughter and son-in-law, Roger Jachts, welcome her first and only grandchild, Taylor Jachts, into the world. From the second Taylor was born, Vita created a special bond with her, and she watched Taylor while Laurie went back to work. Vita taught Taylor a lot of what she knows today, and she created many wonderful memories for her granddaughter. Whether it was pretend games, baking swimming, arts and crafts, songs or school projects, Vita was involved in every aspect of Taylor’s life. She attended every single dance recital, concert, play, and school event, - except for one, which Taylor never let her live down - and snagged herself a seat in the front row, where taking pictures and videos was the best. She was so supportive and involved, and always made Taylor feel special and loved. She helped Laurie and Roger a great deal with taking care of Taylor and she was always appreciated.
Vita was always an amazing friend, who spent a lot of her time making plans with the people she cared deeply for. Most of her friends she carried with her through decades of her life. And she never failed to make fun memories. She was always going out to different places with her friends, and when she was inside, the phone was basically glued to her ear. And in her last years, her friends stayed with her and helped her through her toughest times. She always appreciated everything that her friends did for her, and she had so much love for them that she considered them family.
Vita was such a special woman. She will always be remembered for the incredible things she did. For one, Vita hosted almost every family holiday, and always managed to make them magical for everybody. And damn, could she work a kitchen. There were lists and calendars and she was always stressed, but when it came down to it, she made every holiday memorable and full of joy for her family. Vita lived for her family, and always went out of her way to make everything enjoyable for every guest who was ever in her home. When you were in her home, you were family to her. Vita was always one to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed one and she was always an incredible person.
Now, in Heaven, her spirit lives on and she is watching over all of us, still sending her love. She has struggled, suffered and fought for a long time, and she is now at peace and with God. Speaking for her, I would like to say thank you to everyone who was there for her, sent her cards, called her, visited her, and held her in your prayers. She has always appreciated your support and she could not have fought as hard as she did without all of your love and prayers. She loved you all.