In Memory of

Mena

B.

McAllister

(Bellino)

Obituary for Mena B. McAllister (Bellino)

Mena B. McAllister (nee Bellino) died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Friday October 27, 2023. Mena was born in Newark, NJ, the daughter of Mary and Patrick Bellino.

Mena attended Barringer High School in Newark. At a time when many women did not attend college, Mena attained a Bachelor of Arts degree at Montclair State University. She went on to attain a Master of Arts degree in French at the L’Universite’ Laval in Quebec, Canada. In 1976, she received a scholarship and attained a Master of Education degree in Special Education from William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.

Summers during college, Mena served as a Camp Counselor at Camp Wapalanne, at The New Jersey School of Conservation, located in Branchville, NJ. She loved communing with nature and made lifelong friends with whom she was still in touch with 50 years later.

Mena taught for three years then became a Guidance Counselor at North Junior High School in Bloomfield and at East Orange High School. She was also a Vocational Evaluator at the Essex County Vocational Schools. She served as an adjunct professor at William Paterson University.

Mena met the love of her life, Archie McAllister at The Gregory Club, a Catholic singles organization. They resided in Cedar Grove for 42 years, before she moved to Livingston, NJ after his death. She spent one year working for Essex County Probation Department as a court investigator alongside Archie who was a Probation Officer there.

A talented seamstress, Mena designed and created clothes for herself and her daughters, receiving prizes from the Singer Sewing Corporation. She loved Halloween, making many costumes for herself, and of course she won First Prize for being Sponge Bob & Poison Ivy!

She served as President of the Verona Park Senior Citizens Club for many years and was named Outstanding Citizen of Essex County in 2010. She taught Italian and French at adult school and to her peers at her senior community. She was also active in the Poetry Club there and self-published her poems.

Mena was a fan of the cultural arts including Opera and Irish Music. She and Archie cruised and traveled the world. She was organized and a real planner, always ready for any adventure with her daughter, granddaughters, and their friends. She treasured time spent with cousins at the “McAllister Girls Weekends.”
She and Archie spent many summers “Down the Shore” residing on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lavallette.

She would be characterized by others as a gourmet cook, the life of the party, kind and considerate and one who reached out to the less fortunate.

A woman of faith and a devout Catholic, Mena was a communicant and parishioner at St Catherine of Siena parish in Cedar Grove, and then St Philomena’s in Livingston.

She was predeceased by her loving husband, Archibald (Archie) McAllister, her daughter, Kathleen Mary (Kathy), and her brother, Angelus (Gerry) Gerard Bellino. She is survived by her daughter, Mary-Pat Marzoli and son-in-law Glenn, and 3 grandchildren, Lisa, Kelly and Scott, her son, Gregory McAllister and daughter-in-law Bernice, her sister-in-law, Maureen Pfluger and dear friend, Ron Misura.

Funeral Services will begin on Thursday, Nov. 2nd at 10:00 am at Shook’s Cedar Grove Funeral Home, 486 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove, NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Cedar Grove with interment to follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, 712 Grove St., Upper Montclair. Visitation will be on Wednesday, Nov. 1st from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at the funeral home. Memories and condolences may be shared at shookscedargrove.com.

Donations in her name may be made to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, https://themmrf.org/?campaign=470475 or to New Jersey School of Conservation, https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=2YLERXJQVGESN.