Obituaries, Week of June 27, 2020

Catholic, Public Servant, Dies at 88

Evelyn J. Aquila (née Farrell), former director of the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died June 3 at her home in Whitehouse Station, N.J. She was 88.

Born and raised in Hells Kitchen, Manhattan, she attended Sacred Heart Elementary School and Cathedral H.S. She then attended evening classes at St. John’s University while working full-time.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Brooklyn College in 1978. Evelyn and her husband, Frank, lived in Borough Park while raising three children. She served as President of the Community School Board for District 21 and Chairman of the Community Planning Board for District 12.

She served in many capacities at St. Athanasius Church, Bensonhurst. She was the Human Life Coordinator and Deputy Superintendent of Education of the Diocese of Brooklyn. For her decades of service to the Diocese of Brooklyn, she received a papal medal from Pope John Paul II.

A longtime leader of the Roosevelt Democratic Club in Brooklyn, Evelyn served as a member of the NYS Democratic Committee for the 48th Assembly District and for almost eight years as Vice Chairman of the NYS Democratic Party. She was a delegate to numerous party conventions. In 1981, Evelyn was elected as Vice Chairman pro-tem of the NYS delegation to the Electoral College.

In 1993, she was appointed one of the two Democratic Commissioners of the NYS Board of Elections, a position she held for 20 years. She was the longest-serving New York State commissioner and the longest-serving Commissioner of Elections in the history of New York State.

Mrs. Aquila is survived by her children, Francis of Manhattan, Jane Malecki of White House Station, NJ, and James of Brooklyn.

Sister Annette Marie Lucchese, O.S.F., former principal at Holy Family School, Brooklyn, died on June 13 at home in Ringwood, NJ.

She was born in Brooklyn, where she was a member of Holy Family parish. In 1960 she entered the Franciscan Sisters of Ringwood, which later merged with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadephia, and professed her first vows in 1962.

She earned a B.S. and an M.A. in Education from Seton -all University as well as a P.D. in Administration from Fordham.

Sister Annette ministered for 35 years in the Diocese of Paterson, NJ, which included being the general coordinator of the Sisters of St. Francis of Ringwood, as well as coordinator of the Mt. St. Francis Retreat Center in Ringwood.

Her 13 years in the Diocese of Brooklyn also included teaching at St. Benedict School, Bedford-Stuyvesant, 1967-68, and teaching, 1968-71, and serving as principal, 1971-80, at Holy Family. Burial was held in God’s Acre Cemetery in Ringwood.

Sister M. Teresa Damien Weber, O.P., a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville for 75 years, died on June 1. She was 97.

Born in Long Island City, she and her twin sister — Sister Mary Weber, O.P., who survives her — attended elementary school at St. Joseph Parish, Long Island City. Sister Teresa later attended The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica.

She entered the Novitiate of Queen of the Rosary Motherhouse in Amityville on Feb. 2, 1945, receiving the Dominican habit and religious name on Aug. 6, 1945. She professed her First Vows on Aug. 6, 1946, and pronounced Final Vows on Aug. 23, 1949.

Sister Teresa held a B.A. in Music Education from Manhattanville College, and an M.A. from Columbia College, New York.

In 1966, she was among the pioneer faculty of St. John the Baptist High School, West Islip. She was Chairperson of the Music Department until retirement in 2000.

A funeral Mass was celebrated at the Motherhouse on June 8, followed by burial in the Sisters’ Cemetery.

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