Rina Habjan

Obituary of Rina Habjan

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     Rina Habjan passed into eternal life with God on Monday October 2, 2023 and died peacefully in her sleep after living a life characterized by love, kindness and devotion to family and friends. Her loving heart was always in evidence and the only qualities noticeably absent from that heart were malice, jealousy and selfishness.


     Rina was born in Lima, Peru, the youngest of five children, and carried with her all her life the warm, wonderful memories of her life with her parents, siblings, extended family and friends. Her childhood summers were spent with her family at a vacation home in Pisco, located on the southern coast of Peru, and she always looked back on the summers at the beach with her family as among the happiest in her life.


     Rina lived in Peru into young adulthood, and came to the United States after a very painful period in her life, in which her mother and grandmother passed away in close proximity to each other. Rina had been very devoted to both of them, and sought solace from that heartbreak with a visit to America. As fate would have it, that visit resulted in a permanent relocation when she met her future husband Al, while they were both residing in New York City. She always however kept in regular contact with her family in Peru throughout her life, and the return visits to her homeland were always an opportunity to recall the beautiful memories of her life there, as well as to create new ones.


     Rina and Al were married in December, 1959, at Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in New York City. In the ensuing years, they would welcome and raise two children, a son, Al, and a daughter, Maria. Marriage and motherhood became life’s highest callings for Rina, and her love for and commitment to her husband and children was constant and unwavering. Her love of the ocean was shared with her husband and children, with many visits first to Jones Beach and later to Cape Cod and the Jersey shore. Later in life, those familial bonds were strengthened and enriched by the arrival of two grandchildren, Derek and Nicholas, and her affection for both of them truly knew no bounds.


     Family and friends shall always remember Rina as a warm, engaging presence in their lives, a woman of great sympathy for those in need, and also tremendous insight and impeccable judgment. When her loved ones sought her counsel, she possessed the uncanny ability to not only provide the right advice but to tailor those words of wisdom for the individual seeking assistance in a way that provided the best result. She was a voracious reader, often finishing a new book in a day or two, with mystery novels and the works of Mary Higgins Clark among her favorites. She also loved movies, and was primarily a fan of classic films.


     Those who knew and loved her acknowledge her departure from this Earth will be an immeasurable loss, but are comforted by the knowledge that Heaven will be enriched by her arrival and her reunion with those family members and friends who have predeceased her, including especially her late husband, Al, her parents, siblings and other family members. Rina is survived by her son, Al, of Rockaway, and her daughter, Maria Pepple and her husband, Darin, of Wayne, and their two sons, Derek and Nicholas, as well as extended family that continue to live in Peru.


     Funeral services for Rina will be held at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church, 90 Church Street, Rockaway, New Jersey at 10 AM on Saturday, October 14, with interment to immediately follow at Christ the King Cemetery, 980 Huron Road, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.