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Memorial service, eulogy held for ex-mayor’s wife

A month after her passing, a memorial service was held last Saturday for the wife of a former mayor of the town/village of Harrison.

On June 24, a service was held at St. Anthony’s Church in West Harrison to celebrate the life of Gloria Passidomo, who was married to her predeceased husband of 57 years, John Passidomo, the former mayor of Harrison and New York state commissioner of motor vehicles.

In May, Gloria Passidomo passed away at the age of 92 in Naples, Florida.

“She was the most hospitable soul you could have ever met,” said former Mayor Joan Walsh, a close friend of the Passidomos. “It was always warm and welcoming in her house.”

Gloria Passidomo worked briefly for the Edward L. Bernays public relations firm in New York City and later managed a dental office in the village of Scarsdale. She was responsible for beginning the Meals-on-Wheels program in Harrison and was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary at St. Agnes Hospital, which is located in White Plains.

During her time living in Harrison, she helped manage her husband’s campaign headquarters through a number of election cycles.

“She was a friend and matriarch of the [Passidomo] family, and also a great first lady,” said Mayor Ron Belmont, who attended the memorial service. “I was proud to attend her eulogy.”

Gloria Passidomo met her husband while studying at Fordham University in the Bronx and married him in 1947.

John Passidomo was first elected mayor in 1965. Re-elected eight times, he served in that capacity until 1983 when he resigned to become the commissioner of motor vehicles under then Gov. Mario Cuomo. John Passidomo was responsible for developing the string of corporate office parks along Interstate 287 known as the “Platinum Mile,” and is the reason behind Harrison’s town/village structure.

Gloria Passidomo was remarried in 2011 to Dr. George Talis, who also predeceased her. She is survived by five children and 10 grandchildren.

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