We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Biondi Funeral Home
Dr. Emanuele A. “Manny” Alfano
Dr. Emanuele A. “Manny” Alfano, a highly regarded Chiropractor, Educator, Civic leader, and nationally recognized leader of the Italian American community, passed away on Sunday, June 19, 2022.
Visitation will be at the Biondi Funeral Home of Nutley, 540 Franklin Avenue on Thursday, June 23 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. There will be a Unico National Ceremony led by Past-National President Paul Alongi at 7:15 p.m. The funeral will be conducted from the funeral home on Friday, June 24 at 8:15 a.m. There will be a funeral mass celebrated at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield, at 9:30 a.m. The entombment will be at Gate of Heaven Chapel Mausoleum, 225 Ridgedale Avenue, East Hanover.
Dr. Alfano was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. His parents, Stefano and Maria (Ditta) Alfano, were Sicilian emigrants. After elementary and high school in Newark, he graduated Seton Hall University with a degree in Physical Education and then taught in the Newark School system for many years. While working as an educator he entered New York Chiropractic college and earned his Chiropractic degree and practiced for many years.
In 1969 Dr. Alfano married Patricia Marinaro and raised a family in Bloomfield, New Jersey. They have three children Stephen Alfano (Tracey), Victor Alfano (Wynona), and Maria McKeon (Sean); They also have six grandchildren: Ashley, Alyssa, Stefano, Gabriella, Sienna and Christian.
A long-time musician, Manny’s music career spanned over 70 years, beginning with the Italian American Feast Bands while still in high school. A long-time member of the A. F. of M, he played trumpet and was the lead singer in a variety of musical groups, including The Preludes, Brotherhood, and Unico 5. He continued to meet with fellow musician friends for lunch, they called themselves the ROMEO Club (Retired Old Musicians Eating Out).
Dr. Alfano was extremely active in community and civic activities. He served with the Central Little League in Bloomfield; Civil Rights Commission of Bloomfield; participated in the Township's Holocaust program and was awarded the Heritage Award by the Township of Bloomfield. He also introduced the World of Difference program into the Bloomfield school system - training teachers to help students deal with defamation and intolerance. He helped organize Bloomfield United We Stand March.
Dr. Alfano became a member of the Bloomfield Chapter of UNICO National in February of 1980 and served as Chapter President and later District Governor of New Jersey District II. He co-founded the Belleville Chapter and together with the Bloomfield chapter of UNICO, founded the Young Italian American A.C.E.S. Club of UNICO National. Along with the A.C.E.S, he hosted The Feast of St. Joseph at St. Thomas’ church for over 30 years. This annual event has donated thousands to charities and scholarships. He was appointed the Anti Bias Committee Chair in 1990 and served in that position for decades. He organized with the ADL and UNICO the Debt to Honor program and curriculum for the New Jersey school system, which deals with the rescuing of Jews by Italians. Dr. Alfano, UNICO and the ADL sponsored a television program at CUNY University on defamation and stereotyping of Italian Americans. He launched the UNICO National Italian and Italian American heritage calendar. Dr. Alfano played a key role in obtaining equal membership for women in UNICO. In 2002 Dr. Alfano received UNICO National highest award the Vastola Award.
His activism and defense of Italian American heritage and culture inspired him to create an organization solely dedicated to that mission. In 1992 he founded the Italian American One Voice Coalition, “IAOVC,” which is dedicated to opposing Italian American stereotyping and defamation. As founder and president of IAOVC, Dr. Alfano is nationally and internationally recognized for his leadership in actively opposing anti-Italianism, bias and stereotyping of Italian Americans. He created, compiled, and distributed The Alfano Digest, IAOVC’s regular email newsletter, to more than 5,000 individuals and Italian American organizations nationwide. The Digest issues alerts on instances of bias, stereotyping, discrimination, and defamation and contains informative and educational Italian American cultural and heritage information.
Dr. Alfano was responsible for creating many IAOVC initiatives and activities and he regularly appeared in media and at events and meetings regarding Italian American issues. It is to be noted that his recent health challenges did not deter him from attending school board meetings in the past few months to oppose the elimination of Columbus Day. And, right up until his last days he was actively involved in continuing his mission to defend Italian American heritage and culture. He truly inspired so many with his untiring commitment to his mission, and has been recognized with a plethora of awards, honors and accolades for his lifelong dedication, commitment, and leadership.
Although Dr. Emanuele “Manny” Alfano is no longer with us, he has left behind a legacy of love for his family, his heritage and his never-ending dedication to his mission. That legacy will live on due to the extraordinary person he was and his inspiration to so many throughout his life.
Dr. Alfano is predeceased by his parents Stefano and Maria (nee Ditta) Alfano, and his brother Anthony Alfano.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Italian American One Voice Coalition, www.IAOVC.org .
Italian American One Voice Coalition