For the 22nd Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebration, not only are those walking the parade celebrated, but the event will honor a slew of Honorary Grand Marshals, those that supported the parade but are no longer with us.
On Sunday, March 15, the parade will kick off on East Tremont and Lafayette avenues after a morning Mass at St. Benedicts Church at 2969 Otis Avenue.
The celebration is one that relies heavily on family, tradition and the Irish culture.
The Throggs Neck Benevolent Association finds it not only important, but necessary to honor those posthumously in the parade.
Twenty nine individuals will be remembered as Honorary Grand Marshals in the parade.
The honorary grand marshals for the parade are: Gerald ‘Jerry’ Archambault, Stephanie Brumley, Denis ‘DJ’ Byrne, Patricia Carter, Thomas Patrick Delaney, Catherine ‘Eileen’ Devoy, Daniel Devoy, Eileen Duffy, Kevin Flynn, Liz Garvey, Hugh ‘Hughie’ Finnegan, John ‘Jack’ Forbes, Patrick J. Frawley, Mary Hickey, Edward ‘Eddie’ Huber, Robert ‘Bob’ Johnson, Helen Junta, Robert ‘Bob’ Keaveny, Agnes LaMacchia, Howard ‘Mickey’ Lent, Eileen Murphy, Jim ‘Fav’ Murray, Joan Ninivaggi, John O’Grady, Barbara Scott-Mongiello, Morgan Sweeney, Cuban ’Irish’ Al – Alfredo Vazquez, Jimmy ‘Waldo’ Waldron, and Margie Walsh.
The Bronx Times spoke with family members of the three honorary marshals.
Matt Sweeney, son of Morgan Sweeney, said his father was a first generation Irish immigrant and a bartender in the Throggs Neck/Pelham Bay area for more than 50 years. Up until his loss with his battle with leukemia, Sweeney bartended at the Locust Point Yacht Club.
“He most definitely worked or participated in every St. Patrick’s Day parade,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney is remembered by his three siblings, four children and six grandchildren. The entire family plans to be at this year’s parade.
Another longtime resident and true Irishman, Robert ‘Bob’ Johnson, born and raised along the Grand Concourse, relocated to Throggs Neck after leaving the Navy at a young age.
The natural born athlete was picked up by a sports scout and played minor league baseball before he joined the Navy.
Upon his arrival to Throggs Neck, Johnson worked for Central Oil Company with his father and was a union organizer for his fellow workers.
A major milestone during his labor career was successfully negotiating a 5-cent an hour raise.
His love of dancing led him to the fateful day when he met his wife Miriam ‘Mimi’ Greiss at the German Stadium. The couple have three children and six-grand children.
Another honorary grand marshal of Irish descent, Liz Garvey, lived in the Throggs Neck area since 1970s.
Garvey attended St. Frances de Chantel School and Preston High School.
Garvey was a staple in the community being an ELA teacher at St. Frances de Chantel School for 18 years.
“She probably taught English to a lot of members of this community,” her daughter Katie Kimmel said.
Garvey left behind two daughters, Katie Kimmel and Sheila Garvey-Badalati and five grandchildren who all live in Silver Beach.