Mary Coppola Patrick, former mayor of Millstone, NJ, died on August 12, 2011. She was 85. Mary was born on March 3, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey, to Carmine and Giuseppina Coppola. Her family moved from Newark to Hillside, New Jersey, and she graduated from Hillside High School in 1943. As a young woman she was an avid athlete; playing basketball throughout the States and in Italy, and along with her sister Jennie, starred playing softball in Hillside. Mary worked for several companies in Newark after graduation, including Colloids Inc. and Chicago Bridge & Iron.
In September of 1951, Mary married Charles J. Patrick and settled in Bridgewater, New Jersey. When their home got too small for their growing family in 1962, they moved to Millstone, New Jersey, where Mary resided till her recent passing. In the town she loved, she raised her ten children. She also began her political career, fighting for Millstone’s protection against overdevelopment. She was part of the committee in 1972 that created Peace Brook Park on Ann Street in Millstone, so the neighborhood children would have a place to play. She was mayor of the town as well as councilwoman for most years on and off since 1973, ending her mayoral career in 2005, when the care of her ill husband took up most of her time. From 1974 to 1982, Mary worked for the Department of Labor and Industry in Trenton, New Jersey, as Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Legislative Liaison for the Department to the Legislature and the Office of the Governor, then Governor Brendan Byrne. In this position she worked to protect the rights of workers and helped to create jobs for thousands of fellow New Jersey citizens.
Despite her active career, Mary’s heart and soul was her family. She is loved deeply by her ten children, their spouses, her twenty-seven grand children and her three great grand children. She was an amazing seamstress, cook and gardener. So, when friends or opponents dropped by for some lively debate, they often left with a full belly and maybe some nice Jersey tomatoes.
She is predeceased by her loving husband, Charles J. Patrick, brother Frank Coppola, brother Anthony Coppola, sister Louise (Coppola) Moore, and sister Josephine Coppola.
She is survived by her brothers and sisters, Jeannette Frattin, Regina Ackerman, brother, Joseph Coppola, and brother, Carmine Coppola; her children Matthew Patrick (wife Louise), Vita Patrick Morales (husband Guillermo), John Patrick (wife Donna), Susan Patrick Farrell (husband Raymond Farrell), Michael Patrick (wife Sheryl), Christopher Patrick, Charles Patrick (wife Judy), Maria Crimi (husband Peter), Thomas Patrick and David Patrick (wife Athina); she is also survived by twenty seven grand children and three great grand children.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10am on Tuesday, August 16 at St. Joseph Church, 34 Yorktown Road, Millstone. Visiting hours are from 5pm to 8pm on Monday, August 15 at the Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Mary's name to U.S.A. Save The Children Foundation, 54 Wilton Rd., Westport, CT 06880 or to their website at www.savethechildren.org