Forever remembered

Joan Laughlin was always willing to lend a helping hand. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Callahan

Fifteen longtime fixtures in the Irish-American community in Throggs Neck will be posthumously honored in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will take place on Sunday, March 15.

Mary “Maureen” Caroll, Tony Collins, James Conroy, Mary Cunningham, Jeanne Dennis, Catherine Devine, John Hickson, “Spike” Keffner, Joan Laughlin, Dennis Lynch, Dennis O’Connell, Noreen O’Grady, Bill Reilly, John Sheehan, and John Tyrell are the honorary grand marshals being remembered posthumously by the 2009 Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

Those chosen as honorary grand marshals will be joining in spirit with this year’s two grand marshals – Patrick McGettrick and Rosie Donaghey – and honored clergy Sr. Lucille Coldrick, as there family members and friends remember their legacies.

“Tony had three favorite days – Christmas Eve, Super Bowl Sunday, and St. Patrick’s Day,” said Barbara Collins, the wife of Tony Collins, an Honorary Grand Marshall. “He was thrilled when they first started the Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”

Tony Collins was part of the Throggs Neck Benevolent Association during the first four years of the parade, and sold journal ads for the original Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“I am just thrilled about my husband being honored, and my granddaughter is ecstatic about it because the parade falls on her birthday this year,” Collins said. “We were involved with the first fundraiser for the parade at S.U.N.Y Maritime College.”

Jennifer Callahan, the daughter of Honorary Grand Marshall Joan Laughlin, said that she is sure that her mother is smiling down from heaven after being named to this honor.

Laughlin was a fixture for many years at the D.A. Beach Club and as a waitress at J.P. Sullivan’s. She was also an assistant to former Assemblyman John Dearie both when he was a public servant, and later in his legal practice.

“She would always open the D.A. Beach Club for various fundraisers community groups were having, including fundraisers for the TNBA, who organize the Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” Callahan said.

Emerald and Platinum Sponsorships for the Parade are still available for donations of $500 and $1000, respectively. Journal ads that can be placed for $100, $200, or $300, depending on the size of the ad, are also still being accepted.

Ads and checks to the Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee can be sent to P.O. Box 849, Throggs Neck Station, Bronx, N.Y. 10465.

Anyone interested in placing an ad or making a donation can contact the Throggs Neck Benevolent Association at or call (718) 931-7749.

More from Around NYC