Maxine Sullivan, Engel’s aide, 75

Maxine Sullivan is pictured with Congressman Elliot Engel.
Photo courtesy of Congressman Elliot Engel

A beloved leader who was of service to her community in so many ways has passed.

Maxine Sullivan, an aide to Congressman Elliot Engel since 2013 and a Co-op City resident for 40 years, is being mourned after her passing at the age of 74 on Wednesday, April 24.

She was a member of the Retirees of Dreiser Loop, National Council of Negro Women’s Co-op City Section, the NAACP Williamsbridge Section and JASA, said her niece Kelli Sullivan.

After 35 years working with the same company in the private sector she joined Engel’s team in 2013, the niece said.

“Maxine was incredible,” said Engel in statement. “She worked in my Co-op City office for many years and her character, spirit, and love was unmatched. I will miss her deeply, as will countless others whose lives she touched.”

Her niece recalled that she liked helping people from all walks of life and directing them to where they could find assistance.

“She was always smiling,” said Kelli Sullivan, adding she was always deeply involved in community organizations, and spent most of her adult life in Co-op City, moving there about 40 years ago.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto recalled that Sullivan was a judge for his annual Co-op City Scholarship Awards that awards $500 to graduating high school seniors.

After founding the scholarship program, other elected officials like Engel and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined as partners, as well as McCall’s Bronxwood Funeral Home and Riverbay Corporation, said Benedetto.

“We have a committee that interviews all the kids applying for these scholarships and Maxine was the congressman’s representative on the committee,” said the assemblyman. “Maxine was always a strong addition to that panel.”

She was a strong advocate for the Co-op City community, and served as an important conduit of information from the community to the congressman, said Benedetto.

Senator Jamaal Bailey said Sullivan’s passing is incredibly saddening, and that she will be missed and never forgotten.

“Maxine was a dynamic woman who gave her heart and soul to her community,” said Bailey. “She was always quick to lend me an encouraging word and she would often save me a seat at events we attended together.”

He said his thoughts and prayers are with her family in their time of need.

The viewing will be held at McCall’s Bronxwood Funeral Home at 4035 Bronxwood Avenue on Friday, May 3 from 4 to 9 p.m.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at

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