John W. Lavelle
|John W. Lavelle|
|Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 61st district
|Preceded by||Elizabeth Connelly|
|Succeeded by||Matthew Titone|
January 26, 1949|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||January 24, 2007
Staten Island, New York
Lavelle, a former executive with Met Life, was a champion for the poor and less fortunate. He served as a member of the New York State Charter Commission for Staten Island in 1993, and became Staten Island Democratic Party Chairman in 1999. He was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 2000, filling the seat formerly occupied by Assemblywoman Betty Connelly. He served on a number of committees, including Government Employees, Social Services, Veterans Affairs and Mental Health, among others. Assemblyman Lavelle was known for sponsoring bills calling for the same benefits of those who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing as those who died in the 2001 attack and for being an advocate for stronger gun control laws.
In addition, Lavelle spent over 20 years working for quality health care by serving on the Community Advisory Board for the Sisters of Charity Health Care System at St. Vincent's Medical Center. He started a monthly recreation program for patients at Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home and served as Chairman of the Center's Advisory Board. He has also helped substance abusers get their lives back on track by serving as vice chair of the Camelot Counseling Center's Board of Directors.
Lavelle suffered a stroke on January 19, 2007 and died in a coma on January 24, just two days short of his 58th birthday. Mr. Lavelle is survived by his three sons, John, Christopher and Daniel and four grandchildren, Julia, Jacob, Zachary, and Emily Lavelle.
To honor his death and to allow members of the New York State Assembly to attend his funeral, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver canceled the session of the Assembly for January 28, 2007. It is believed this is the first time a session has been canceled for this reason.
The funeral service was attended by over 1,000 people and included the Governor of the State of New York Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, candidates for New York State Comptroller, over 50 Assemblymembers, and all the elected officials from Staten Island from both political parties. That evening upon returning to Washington from the funeral, Congressman Vito Fossella spoke on the floor of the United States House of Representatives about the passing of John Lavelle.
His seat was filled by special election, with fellow Democrat Matthew Titone elected to succeed him in the Assembly.
|New York State Assembly, 59th District
|New York State Assembly, 61st District