Featured Funeral Prayer Card – Joseph P. Mirota

Joseph P. Mirota Dies Here at 79

“Joseph P. Mirota Sr., 79, of Mountain road, Whitehouse, died suddenly at the home of his daughter,  on Monday afternoon.

Mr. Mirota was born in Poland and had resided in the Whitehouse area most of his life.  He was a retired railroad man, employed by the Jersey Central Railroad.

He is survived by two sons, Joseph Mirota, Jr., and Stephen Mirota; two daughters, Mrs. Theodore Lubas  and Mrs. James Doran, and 11 grandchildren and one great grandson [towns omitted for privacy].

Viewing will be held this afternoon and evening and Wednesday from 2 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., at the Robert B. Hauck Funeral Home on Old Highway, Whitehouse. A Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Bernard Coen of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Whitehouse Station officiating at a High Requiem Mass.

Internment will follow in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Bridgewater.”

Published in “The Whitehouse Review”, Whitehouse Station, NJ, Tuesday, 19 Sept 1961, p. 5

Although this obituary for Joseph Mirota is short, most of the facts are correct. He was also a farmer, but that isn’t mentioned. Funeral prayer cards and obituaries are an excellent way to confirm dates and names when researching. Another excellent resource are the records available under the Freedom of Information Act – FOIA and Social Security records that can be ordered for anyone born over 120 years ago.  The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) contains records going back to 1937, but 98% are from after 1962.  For someone like Joseph who worked for the railroad, also look  under Railroad Retirement Board Records – the records there are from after 1936 – and are also available under the FOIA.

If you click on the record below it will open up in a larger format. Here, Joseph Mirota is listed as working for the C. R. of N.J., or the Central Railroad of New Jersey, later called the Jersey Central Railroad, and still in existence today as the Raritan Vally Line for New Jersey Transit.  He  was a lineman working as a laborer in all kinds of weather.  Many a snowy night he had to go out to clear the tracks for the trains to be able to run. It was a very dangerous job, and after reading old issues of the Whitehouse Review from his hometown I can vouch for that. There were many injuries and deaths recorded in the newspaper.

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