Alice Jane Sista (nee Lake), 83, passed away peacefully with her sons at her side on July 23, 2022. Born at Greenville Hospital on the boulevard in Jersey City, Alice lived briefly in Union City and then in Jersey City for 67 years before moving to Rutherford.
Descended from a religious family from Chorely, Lancashire, England, Alice was deeply involved in the church throughout her life. As an adolescent, she was active in youth ministry at Linden Avenue Methodist Church and attended religious gatherings in Canada and Ocean Grove, NJ. Her father was a railroad worker on the Eerie and Lackawanna line who used to “bridge the float”; her mother was a skilled secretarial typist. Alice was a responsible girl from an early age, helping with the household needs of her younger brother and extended family, with whom she lived on Danforth and Kensington Avenues.
Alice graduated from P.S. 20 and Snyder High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Jersey City State College. After teaching for a number of years, she worked for the New York City Welfare Department in Harlem, assisting the homeless and those suffering from substance abuse. Alice later returned to education, working at the Head Start program in downtown Jersey City.
Her proudest and happiest moments were becoming a mother and grandmother. Alice met Lorenzo Sista while both were teaching at Lincoln Junior High School in Secaucus. After dating for fourteen years, they were married at Holy Rosary Church in downtown Jersey City. Together, they raised three boys on Sherman Place in the Heights, where Alice was part of an intimate group of neighbors who watched over the kids on the block. Alice was dedicated to the education of her sons and served as an active P.T.A. member. She cherished reading to her children, serving as a repository of family history, and cooking traditional American and English meals, as well as making the Italian meals that her husband loved.
Alice was the oldest of two children of the late Allen Henry Lake and Alice (nee Tootell). She was predeceased by her husband Lorenzo Sista, aunts Margaret Elsie Hopf (husband Clarence) and Edna Branston (husband Ernest), uncle Harvey Lake (wife Rita), cousins Robert Ernest Branston (wife Mary) and Edna Deitch (husband Joseph), brother-in-law Vito (wife Grace), sister-in-law Theresa Elia (husband Edward), and nephew Joseph Vito Sista. Alice is beloved by her sons Joseph William, Lorenzo Thomas, and Allen Vito and wife Margaret, granddaughters Alice Marie and Jane Catherine, brother Allen William Lake and family friend Richard Andrews, brother-in-law Luciano, and sister-in-law Catherine. Known lovingly as Aunt Alice, she also tutored and mentored many nieces and nephews, who are forever grateful for all she did for them.
Alice will be missed by all who knew her.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 29, 2022 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Riotto Funeral Home & Cremation Co. in Jersey City, NJ. www.RiottoFH.com (For GPS, use 14 Stagg Street.)
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the funeral home. A funeral mass will then be offered at Holy Rosary Church, 344 Sixth St., Jersey City, NJ at 9:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Holy Rosary Church for the construction of an elevator.