Josephine E. Carella, the Haverstraw town clerk for the past 36 years, died Friday at her home with her family at her side. She was 88.
One of the longest serving elected officials in the state, Carella was part of the old school of Haverstraw politicians, many of them of Italian-American heritage, many of them first-generation Americans, and most from either Haverstraw or West Haverstraw village.
Carella began serving in 1977 and faced almost no challengers during her 36 years as town clerk as voters re-elected her every two years.
“My mother was not the typical, run-of-the-mill politician,” her son, Bernard, said Saturday. “She loved people. She loved serving the public.”
In addition to her son, she is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Andrews of Stony Point, three grandchildren and one great-grand daughter.
The George M. Holt Funeral Home in Haverstraw is handling arrangements. Visitation is private. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Monday at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 46 Conklin Avenue, Haverstraw. Burial will follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Haverstraw.
The family requests memorial can be made to the American Red Cross for victims of Hurricane Sandy.