Daily Voice of Bergen this week reviewed some of the top stories of 2015 -- those that made us smile, made us cry or in some way left an impression on us. This was the most popular:
MONTVALE, N.J. -- More than one mourner's eyes were smiling as a screeching hawk swept across the front of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Park Ridge before the Monday morning funeral for popular bartender Mark Rahl.
Rahl touched countless lives during his 30 years behind the taps at Davey's Irish Pub in Montvale -- just as a remembrance posted by his daughter, Kristin, after he died of pancreatic cancer moved many of our readers:
Rahl, who was particularly popular among emergency responders in Bergen and Rockland counties, received a police escort to the church. It passed Davey's, where several mourners -- those he so lovingly referred to as "hooligans" -- stood with a lone bagpiper.
Several local agencies assisted in the wake and funeral -- among them, emergency responders from Montvale, River Vale, Park Ridge, Hillsdale, Westwood, Garfield, Englewood, Paramus and Upper Saddle River, as well as Clarkstown, Orangetown and Ramapo, the Bergen County Sheriff's Office, NYPD, New Jersey Department of Corrections and Triboro Ambulance.
"Mark was a genuine member of our family and cherished by all of us as are many of our other employees," owner Cathy Morgan Davey wrote. "I look at each of them differently now.
"As I greeted some of them at the services for Mark I realized that I don't think of them as just employees anymore.
"Meeting so many long time customers also made me confront the reality that Daveys has been, not only our place of business but rather the home of our extended family whom we dearly love," she added.
"I am so awestruck by all the truly heartfelt tributes to the beautiful person Mark was to all of us," Daveywrote. "[H]is presence, his warmth and his humor will forever permeate the walls of Daveys.
"We refuse to let him go. His loving spirit will forever be with us. Rest in peace, Mark and until we meet again "May God hold you in the palm of his hand."
An Irish wake was scheduled at Davey's for Monday, Jan. 4, beginning at 5 p.m.
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