When the 18th annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Parade steps off, some extraordinary community members will be posthumously honored.
The parade committee has selected 21 people to honor from the local Irish community and beyond. They are being remembered for their dedication to their families and the greater community.
The honorary grand marshals’ families and friends will march with banners in a tribute to their loved ones when the parade steps off at noon on Sunday, March 13 from East Tremont and Lafayette avenues.
Grand marshals David and Noreen Kilkenny, local leaders and Irish football enthusiasts, and the honored clergy Father Christopher Devron, a Jesuit priest who is Fordham Preparatory School’s president, will join them.
Joe Byrne, brother of John Patrick Byrne III, an honorary grand marshal who was an electrician from Throggs Neck, said that his brother participated in the parade every year.
Their father, John Patrick Byrne Jr., was both a grand marshal and honorary grand marshal, said Joe Byrne.
He added that his family works closely with the Throggs Neck Benevolent Association, which has coordinatesd the parade since 1999.
“Our family is very honored and privileged to be named in the parade,” said Joe Byrne.
His brother especially enjoyed traditional Irish food, and used to attend a corned beef and cabbage luncheon held at a local beach club after the parade every year, his brother added.
Sean Connolly, the son of Robert ‘Bob’ Connolly, a sports columnist in the Bronx Times Reporter for nearly two decades and an active part the Edgewater Park Volunteer Fire Department as its president and chaplain, said his father would have loved being honored in this way.
His Irish heritage meant a lot to Bob, the son said.
“Growing up, all we heard was stories of our family…and how everyone came over to America,” said Sean, adding “He was our family historian and he made sure that we knew about all of the struggles.”
Margaret Bennett said that her mother, honorary grand marshal Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Kelleher, used to love to attend the annual St. Patrick’s parade every year.
“She had been going for almost 18 years, every since the parade started,” said her daughter.
Her Irish heritage was very important to her mother, who emigrated from Galway, Ireland, he daughter said. She always relished visiting her homeland, she added.
Her husband, Michael Kelleher was also an Irish immigrant and a parade honorary grand marshal, her daughter said.
Oher parade honorary grand marshals are: Margaret Babcock, Carol Boyle, Monica Burns, John Byrne, Charlie Capezuti, Robert Connolly, Dan Cotter, Ann Devany, Elizabeth Kelleher, Thomas Laughlin, Michael Martz, John Mullins, Joseph Murphy, Teresa O’Hara, Daniel O’Shea, George Peragine, Benny Randazzo and Anthony Riccardella, Mildred Scott, Ethel Tarpey and Alice Tell.