By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Former Bradley Beach Councilman Patrick D’Angelo died February 26 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. He was 82.
D’Angelo, originally from Staten Island, spent his summers in Bradley Beach before moving there permanently when he retired.
After becoming a full time resident he ran for a council seat, serving about 16 years. During his tenure he worked with the state to acquire grant funding for the town including one for the construction of the boardwalk promenade after the 1992 nor’easter.
Due to his involvement in his community he received many awards and citations and then went on the serve in the New Jersey State Senate as Sergeant of Arms.
Borough residents will remember seeing him driving around the community frequenting local businesses such as The Perfect Perk and Delponte’s Bakery. He also spent much of his leisure time on the Cliff Avenue Beach.
D’Angelo’s wife Rosalie, his childhood sweetheart, died three years ago.
He is survived by his son Joseph and his wife Anna, daughter Rosalie Dragonetti and her husband Gerard and Mary Marchese and her husband Richard.
He also leaves six grandsons.
D’Angelo was remembered fondly by two former mayors.
Mayor Gary Engelstad said, “If there was a Mount Rushmore in Bradley Beach, Pat would be up there.”
Engelstad said D”Angelo, on first meeting, could seem tough.
“When you first met him he was all toughness and gruffness, but when you got to know him he was a sweetheart.He didn’t care about what party you were in. He was one of the most big hearted people I’ve ever met,” the mayor said.
Engelstad also said D’Angelo took special care of borough employees.
“He treated employees like his own sons and daughters. He had an incredible passion for anyone who worked in the borough,” he added.
Close friend and council colleague Stephen G. Schueler, who was mayor of Bradley Beach for 16 years, had kind words for his friend.
“He was a lion…and a teddy bear. If you didn’t know he was all about love, you really didn’t know him,” Schueler said.
Schueler said he met D’Angelo during the first six months after he was elected mayor and was immediately impressed by him.
“He demonstrated such an interest in the town and he had some terrific ideas,” Schueler said.
That was when Schueler gave D’Angelo the title of special counsel to the mayor.
“That was a way to give him some legitimacy to work with the county and state,” Schueler said.
“He had a Ph.D in people. I never met anybody like him,” Schueler said. “He was really special, this one really hurt.”