MaryAnne DeFuccio, the mother of Assemblywoman DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River) and the daughter of the late State Sen. William F. Kelly (D-Jersey City), died on September 9. She was 79.
She grew up as one of nine children of Bill and Cathleen Kelly. Her father spent 16 years in the New Jersey State Senate and was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1969.
Kelly was elected to the State Senate in 1957 at a time when each county had just one senator. He sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 1969, finishing second in six-candidate field. Former Gov. Robert Meyner, seeking a comeback, defeated him by a 45%-23% margin.
A former Jersey City municipal court judge and Hudson County Sheriff, Kelly served in the Senate until his retirement in 1973. He served in Meyner’s cabinet as president of the New Jersey Civil Service Commission in the 1960s and was the Hudson County Democratic Chairman from 1971 to 1973.
DeFuccio came from a political family and also married into one. Her father-in-law, Dr. Charles P. DeFuccio, served on the Jersey City Board of Education, and her husband, Charles M. DeFuccio, was a school board member in Franklin Lakes.
Her daughter, DeAnne, was serving her first term as a councilwoman in Upper Saddle River in 2021 when she won a special election convention for State Assembly in the 39th district. She replaced Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale), who had won a State Senate seat, and then won a full term in the November general election on a ticket with Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-Old Tappan).
DeFuccio taught Civics and English in North Bergen, and later at the Passaic County Detention Center in Haledon. She has been a member of the League of Women Voters and was involved in the Golden Door International Film festival in Jersey City.
In addition to her husband of 61 years and her daughter, she is survived by her two grandchildren and six siblings.
Visitation will be at McLaughlin Funeral Home in Jersey City on September 14 from 4-8 PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on September 15 at Saint Aedan’s Church in Jersey City.