Outstanding Seniors in Hudson County Recognized

Seniors from across Hudson County took center stage at a luncheon held at the Casino in the Park in Jersey City. They were recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to their communities.

Monsignor John J. Gilchrist was named the Hudson County Senior of the Year. Upon receiving the award, the labor rights and social justice advocate of nearly 50 years referred to himself as “a simple parish priest.” He accepted the award on behalf of the more than 1,000 parish priests he has served with in the county.

Also recognized were seniors from each municipality. Among them was Hoboken Senior of the Year Linda Procaccino. The 87 year old, who worked for the Hoboken Board of Education for 37 years, devoted much of her life to volunteer service. She was also a Hurricane Sandy victim. After the storm completely destroyed her home, she slowly rebuilt it. Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33) praised her for her tenacity and determination. “Mrs. Procaccino is a shining example of resilience and spirit. Like many of the honorees here, she exemplifies a life well lived, a life spent devoted to her family, church, and community.”

Garcia photo Hoboken Senior of the Year

Each honoree has an inspiring story to tell of commitment and hard work. Here are just a few examples. Weehawken Senior of the Year Lillian Martinelli worked tirelessly for 39 years as the site manager at the Weehawken Senior Center but also found time to crochet hats for children battling cancer. Union City Senior of the Year Magaly Rossi Saa is a retired sample clothing designer who has received other awards for helping seniors who are ill. And Jersey City Senior of the Year Henry Norford is a retired hospital attendant who has given generously of his time and talents to a myriad of community organizations.

Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise applauded all of the honorees for their service to their county and municipality. “It is an honor to work with our mayors and legislators to identify outstanding seniors worthy of recognition through our senior luncheon each year,” said County Executive DeGise. “They are living proof that at every age we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors through service to others.”

Assemblyman Garcia acknowledged the vital role seniors play in our communities. “Seniors are the fabric of our communities. They connect us to our rich past and lay the foundation for our future. Our society owes a debt to these selfless individuals who are not only model citizens but also serve as an inspiration to us all.”

List of all of the Recipients of the 2014 Senior of the Year Award:

  • Mgr. John J. Gilchrist of Kearny, Hudson County Senior of the Year
  • Linda Procaccino, Hoboken Senior of the Year (pictured above)
  • Henry Norford Jersey City Senior of the Year (pictured below)
  • Marion Cooney, Bayonne Senior of the Year
  • Magaly Saa, Union City Senior of the Year
  • Paula Marissa Pascual, North Bergen Senior of the Year
  • Lillian Martinelli, Weehawken Senior of the Year
  • Victor B. Villallta, Harrison Senior of the Year
  • Claudina Claveco West NY Senior of the Year
  • Joseph Miller, Guttenberg Senior of the Year

Garcia photo JC Senior of the Year