Richard  Toglia

Obituary of Richard Toglia

Richard Louis Toglia  

Artist, Accordionist, Brother, Friend, Husband (October 13, 1943 -- January 5, 2021) 

Richard was born to Anthony Toglia and Angelina Miele Toglia in Montclair, NJ and raised in Clifton, NJ, where he did his  early schooling. After being graduated from Clifton High, he attended the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art, followed by a scholarship for a year at Pratt Graphics.  

Already a very accomplished illustrator, he had many years of employment. These were all wonderful years for Richard, years when he was able to work by mail while living in Italy. There was Home Furnishings Daily, about 20 years with Colonial Homes magazine, Macy's, Regents Publishing, many magazine illustrations, and at least 20 years with interior designer Elise  Kodish of AZA Inc. There were many technical illustrations for the Newark Waterfront Access Study for Edwards & Kelcey.  Richard was even the sole facilitator for the Newark Schools Graffiti Project.  

As a fine artist, Richard's paintings were shown at galleries in NY and NJ. A member of the Clifton Art League, he had opportunities to show work close to home too. Many paintings can still be seen at During this time a love of travel was born, and he and his wife continued to travel as often as possible, mostly in Europe. 

During the 90's, Richard played accordion with The Humphries, playing gigs all over the city. Two CD's were released. He  loved playing for friends too, and he encouraged singing along -- as loud as possible! 

What Richard was best at was helping people to see the beauty around them and within them. It was important to him that his friends could be inspired to do their best work. Running an art workshop/open studio at Brookdale Reformed in Bloomfield gave him another chance to do what he had been doing for friends for most of his life. The workshop lasted about 25 years  until COVID closed it down. He missed it very much, along with the friends he made there.  

Richard leaves behind his wife and life partner, Janet Bjugan; his brother Neal Toglia and wife Joan; nephew Brian Toglia,  wife Ebru and two sweet nieces, Michaela and Ayla. He also leaves a dear cousin, Christine Bremseth. He will also be missed  by his lifelong dear friend, Carmen Cuccia and his wife, Julie Wigg. We were all lucky to have known and loved him.  A memorial celebrating Richard's life will be planned for later in 2021. Please don't send flowers. If you want to honor Richard,  consider a donation to your local foodbank. 


 I have come to drag you out of yourself, 

 and, take you in my heart. 

 I have come to bring out the beauty 

 you never knew you had 

 and lift you like a prayer 

 to the sky. Rumi














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