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In Memoriam

By David Wildstein, September 13 2021 9:13 am

Leonard Kaiser, a former Bergen County Freeholder and mayor of North Arlington, died on September 11.  He was 73.  Kaiser was 29 when he won a seat on the North Arlington Borough Council in 1977 and became mayor six years later.  He was elected freeholder in 1985, re-elected in 1986 after voters approved a change in Bergen’s form of government, and had to run again in 1987 when the misfortune of his draw gave him just a one-year term.  After losing, he became chief of staff to County Executive William E. McDowell and later served as an aide to McDowell’s successor, Pat Schuber.  Kaiser spent six years as executive director of the Bergen County Utilities Authority.

Anthony Ingrassia, the founder of the New Jersey Building Contractors Association, died on September 7.  He was 86.   A U.S. Army veteran, the Valerie Fund’s first president in 1976.  His son, Christopher Ingrassia, was killed on September 11, 2001 – one of the victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Joseph Cocuzzo, a former delegate of his local United Auto Workers Union in New Jersey, died on September 2.  He was 89.  A U.S. Army veteran, Cocuzzo later owned a grocery store in Westfield.

Eileen Gill Gyure, the daughter of former Assemblyman Louis J. Gill, died on September 5.  She was 49.

John Patrick Kelly, a teacher and former Belmar lifeguard and the brother of Bergen Record columnist Mike Kelly, died on August 19.  He was 65.

Muriel Barron, a former Avalon Planning Board member, died on September 8.  She was 80.

Herbert Thomas, a former aide to Atlantic City Mayor James Whelan, died on September 5.  He was 94.

Paul Whitefield, a New Jersey resident who began working as a street sweeper in 1966 and retired as the deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation, died on September 5.  He was 90.

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