Cover photo for Donald A. Pyke's Obituary
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1928 Donald 2013

Donald A. Pyke

May 20, 1928 — January 28, 2013

Donald A. Pyke, 84, surrounded by his beloved children: Donald Gregory Pyke and Irene Rose Pyke transitioned on Monday, January 28, 2013 to an eternal life with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Donald Augustus Pyke was born on May 20th 1928 in Montego Bay Jamaica to the late Irene Cunningham and Louis Pyke. He was raised by his late adored step-father Jonathan Cunningham. His wife Ruth McQuilla Pyke, parents Irene Chambers Cunningham, Louis Pyke, step-father Jonathan Cunningham, brothers, Ebenizer Pyke and Caleb Pyke; and sisters, Venus Pyke, Petrona Pyke Brown, Miriam Pyke , Alice Pyke Wilson and Enid Cunninham-Henry preceded Donald in death. He was a graduate of the Montego Bay High School. Upon graduation he enlisted in the British Royal Air Force and served during World War II while stationed in London England. He received his honorable discharge in 1947. Donald was well known for his expertise in the field of carpentry. He used his knowledge and skills while working for the Government of Jamaica; building new schools throughout the island. In 1954, Donald came to the United States and in the spring of that very same year, Donald visited who later became one of his best friends, Arnold Gentile of Bayonne, New Jersey. During his many visits he met a sweet young lady, Ruth McQuilla; and three months later he asked her hand in marriage. They were married on August 27th 1956; and enjoyed 44 years of marriage before her passing in July 2000. From this union two dear children were born, a son Donald Gregory, and a daughter Irene Rose. In 1956, Donald joined the Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion church where he began to work diligently in the up keeping the church’s property in good condition. Today the parishioners walk on the oak floors laid down by Donald. Today the church also enjoys the remodeling of the kitchen in the lower area and the church parsonage. He served on many clubs and organizations, and was very active and dedicated in whatever task that was set before him. He held positions as Trustee Board Chairman, Building Fund Chairman, Men’s Day Chairman (1991-1992); and the Board of Stewards Secretary. In addition, Donald was a faithful member of the James T. Gregory Male Chorus, the Senior Choir and the combined choir. He also was a Class leader. In 1992, the Bayonne Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. honored him. Donald received many citations from the City of Bayonne, the State of New Jersey Assembly and the House of Representatives. He was also very involved in the community. He served on the Advisory Committee for the late Mayor Francis G. Fitzpatrick, Dinner Chairman for the New Frontier Democratic Club, Trustee for the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (B.E.O.F.), Executive Board member of the N.A.A.C.P.; and the Bayonne Youth Center. He served on the Bayonne Rent Control Board for more than 30 years and was a member of the City of Bayonne Democratic Committee for the Second Ward, 10th District for more than 35 years. He was a member of the Health and Welfare Organization, Vice Chairman for the Maidenform retirees, a member of the Pride of Bayonne Lodge The Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World (I.B.P.O.E of W) serving as Financial Treasurer for over 35 years and a member of the past Exalted Ruler Council #17 for Northern New Jersey. He served also as Co-Chairman for the Democratic Committee and Treasurer for the Bayonne Community Museum Inc. In 2001, Donald received a Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Diversity. Two most memorable occasions in his life occurred in 2008 with the surprise party to celebrate his 80th birthday; and in 2009, when the City of Bayonne renamed 22nd Street, Donald Pyke Lane. Donald retired from the Maidenform Company after thirty –seven years of service. Donald in his past-time was a dedicated Mets Fan and loved the Jets. He also enjoyed spending the summer at the beach (his porch) as well as planting and gardening. He loved to travel, always having a suitcase packed. He instilled vacations as a necessity to his family. He loved to cook. He was known for his impressive culinary skills. Two of his signature dishes were curry goat and his famous soup. On every Friday his best friend the late Kenneth Pinnock would come over and the two would have soup and reflect about the old days. He believed that a good cup of soup could cure anything. He leaves a rich legacy to his son Donald Gregory of Rindge New Hampshire and his daughter Irene Rose. One adored granddaughter, Angela Rose, a loving daughter-in law, Liza. He leaves four brothers, Harold McQuilla of New York, Alvin Cunningham of Montego Bay Jamaica and Leon Cunningham of Bronx, New York, Philip Pyke of Chicago; two sisters, Zelita Herron of Montego Bay Jamaica and Melrose Williams of Bronx New York; a brother-in-law LaSalle Williams of New York, a sister-in-law, Mavis Cunningham of Bronz, New York. He also leaves an aunt, Reather Robinson, Plainfield, New Jersey, a god-daughter Deena Cheese of Pennsylvania; and many nieces, nephews, cousin, relatives and friends. A devoted and compassionate caregiver, Cheryl Riley Sims; fondly known as Shirley will also cherish his memory. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” 2 Timothy 4:7

Relatives and Friends are invited to attend the Viewing on Friday February 1, 2013 from 2:00 to 4:00pm and 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, 392 Ave C, Bayonne, NJ and on Saturday Celebration of Life Service at 10:00am at Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church. Entombment will follow at Woodbridge Memorial Gardens, Woodbridge, NJ In Lieu of Flowers, please make donations to the Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church (Parking lot fund)

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