This story has been updated.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Westchester officials are mourning the death and celebrating the life of former County Executive and New York Lt. Gov. Alfred DelBello , who passed away on Friday.
County officials confirmed that DelBello, a Lewisboro resident and noted Democrat, died Friday at age 80. The cause of death was injuries sustained in a fall last month, according to a report in The New York Times . Funeral arrangements yet to be set.
Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner credited DelBello, a former Hastings-on-Hudson resident and Yonkers mayor, with establishing the county’s Bee-Line Bus system, assisting in the creation of the ever-popular Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway and being an advocate for women and the disabled.
“The Westchester County Medical Center became a major hospital under his leadership. The garbage recycling plant that local governments use today was built thanks to his innovations. He merged two separate county police agencies. He tried turning over (Rye) Playland to a private management company, something the county is presently attempting to do again.
“The county government’s unemployment level was the lowest in New York State and 45,000 new jobs were created during his tenure.”
In a statement following his death, County Executive Rob Astorino praised DelBello as a strong politician and mentor who shared sage words of advice with him before he took the job.
Under his orders, all flags at Westchester County office buildings were flown at half-mast in mourning of DelBello’s passing.
“We were from different parties but we were good friends and I always appreciated his advice and counsel,” Astorino said. “Perhaps the greatest advice he shared with me, and something I’ve always adhered to: always make sure you get home and spend quality time with your family.
“The job is hectic, but always make time for your family. Today, the thoughts and prayers of my family go out to the DelBello family.”
State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers said DelBello "helped shape a better Westchester as a result of his vision, initiative and collaboration.
"Whether creating Westchester Medical Center from 'Grasslands' or connecting the county through a better public transportation system, Al was always asking 'What if?' and transforming answers into action.
"In his roles as Yonkers mayor, county executive and lt. governor, he was a relentless problem solver.
"His legacy of public service, even after leaving elected office, will continue to be felt and appreciated throughout New York State."
DelBello is survived by his wife, son, three grandchildren and a sister.
A private funeral service will be held this week. A memorial service for friends and colleagues will be at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 28, at Tappan Hill Mansion, 81 Highland Ave., Tarrytown.
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