Marie Riolo will be badly missed at Community Board 6, but her legacy will be felt forever.
Riolo passed away on Sunday, September 11 at age 92. She was the board’s longest-serving member with 47 years of experience on its various incarnations.
She kept working for the community board up until her final days and used technology that many of her contemporaries never ever attempted to learn.
“She emailed and everything,” CB 6 district manager Ivine Galarza said. “This woman was amazing at her age.”
At the time of her death, Riolo was planning for her annual senior citizen’s dinner dance at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School. She also stayed loyal to the area in other ways. She lived in the same Belmont home for over 60 years.
“One thing about Marie, when she worked on her event, she wanted to do everything and she did,” Galarza said.
She also helped the board formulate its agenda for an upcoming meeting with the city’s Department of Aging. The board members plan to stick with Riolo’s agenda.
Riolo was born in Manhattan but moved to the Bronx when she was just 10 years old. By her early 20s she had become a presence in the community mainly through her local parish – Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
As a young adult she also worked as a secretary at Fordham University and volunteered at St. Barnabas Hospital.
But when her husband of 34 years Anthony died when she was in her late 50s, and her two children were already out on their own, Riolo did something that exemplified her inquisitive and energetic spirit- she enrolled in college.
Riolo received her B.A. in Sociology from Fordham University at age 62.
As secretary she was involved in all aspects of CB 6, but her passion was advocating for seniors.
In 2010, Councilman Joel Rivera and Senator Jeff Klein proclaimed June 2, her birthday, Marie Riolo Day in the Bronx.
Riolo was named a Bronx Times Influential Bronx Woman last year.
Despite Riolo’s planning, the 2011 senior citizen dinner dance and celebration will not take place. But Galarza said the board plans to continue the event in the future, with a new leader, “hopefully as successful as (Riolo) was.”
A Mass of Burial was was at Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Friday, September 16.