HARRISON, N.Y. -- Officials at Harrison town hall were in tears on Tuesday mourning the death of Town Clerk and longtime Harrison resident Joseph Acocella Jr. Acocella died Monday of medical complications. He was 30.
"Despite his illness, Joe carried out his duties as town clerk with diligence and determination," Harrison Mayor and Supervisor Joan Walsh said. "He will be greatly missed."
Acocella worked alongside Deputy Clerk Angela Tamucci and Senior Clerk Diana Minishi in the town's municipal building.
"We're going to go on as best as Joe would have expected," Minishi said. "He was a fighter and dedicated his life to this job."
Tamucci said Acocella was an adored town figure while fighting back tears.
"He was Harrison," Tamucci said. "We have to go on for him."
Funeral services will be held at Coxe & Graziano Funeral Home in Mamaroneck on Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 with visiting hours between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. A service will be held Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. at St. Gregory the Great Church on Halstead Avenue.
Acocella was reportedly undergoing medical treatment on his kidneys several times a week and was awaiting a transplant.
Acocella, born July 14, 1981, became the youngest clerk in New York State when he was elected in 2007. Acocella was running for re-election when he died.
His medical ailments included kidney problems, but were also related to his Lumbar Sacral Agenesis, which led to the amputation of both his legs at three years old.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of my friend, Harrison Town Clerk Joe Acocella," County Executive Robert P. Astorino said. "Despite the many challenges and obstacles in Joey’s life, he always smiled and persevered. He was a dedicated public servant and loved his community. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.”
Acocella missed time while in office when he suffered heart failure in 2010.
"He was a very, very sweet man," Harrison resident and political activist Lucille Held said. "He always tried to do whatever he could for the town."
He sat in on the town board meeting last Thursday while updating his Twitter account of the happenings during heavily debated issues including Harrison stop signs and crucial zoning discussions.
E-mail town reporter Phil Corso at PCorso@TheDailyHarrison.com.