Today’s news:

Queens Village ex-school board head dies at 72

Southeast Queens lost one of its most outspoken and ardent fighters for the rights and betterment of the community when Dolores Grant died Jan. 15 after a long battle with lung cancer caused by asbestos poisoning. She was 72.

Grant, who lived in Queens Village for more than 40 years, moved to Cary, N.C. five years ago. She was a longtime member of School Board 29, PTA president, president of the Queens Village Republican Club, board trustee of the Queens Village Civic Association and an active member of the 105th Precinct Community Council.

“Dolores Grant was a wonderful human being whose friendship I valued in many, many different ways,” said state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). “Her service to her community, her local schools and to everyone who sought her help will always be remembered.”

Grant made a name for herself as a member of School Board 29 from 1975 until 1995, and served as its president from 1978 to 1980.

“For 20 years she repeatedly proved her dedication and commitment to all our children and had a record of improving the quality of education in our schools,” said her friend Jackie Zimmerman. “She believed that children’s interest came first.

“Dolores thought our schools should instill family values and that our children should learn the critical skills — reading, writing, math and science,” she said, “so that they could achieve in the future.”

As a member of SB 29, Grant served in many posts, but she made the biggest impact as the chairwoman of the personnel committee, where she was involved in the selection of the superintendent and appointing principals, assistant principals and administrators.

While on the board, Zimmerman said, Grant helped to establish some progressive programs. She said Grant started after-school programs for working parents, evening teen centers and a program to tutor kids who had difficulty with math.

“She touched many lives of hundreds throughout her many years in education and through her community activism and volunteer work,” Zimmerman said. “Dolores had high standards for herself. She was a person of strong convictions and challenged many to strive for excellence and to do their best.”

Zimmerman said in 1987 the community honored Grant for all of her work and dedication to the community, where she received a proclamation from Padavan and numerous citations from then-Borough President Claire Shulman, then-City Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis) and state Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village).

She said Grant’s smile came from deep down inside and came through in her voice.

“She was a fabulous friend, a lot of fun to be with and had a lot of heart,” said her longtime friend Sheila Pecoraro. “She was my partner in crime.”

Friends said she contracted asbestos poisoning during a renovation of her home in Queens Village.

Grant is survived by her children, William Grant, Debra Dzuiba, Diane Rolon; 11 grandchildren; one great grandchild; and several brothers and sisters.

A wake will be held at Leahy-McDonald Funeral Home at 111-02 Atlantic Ave. in Richmond Hill Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The funeral procession will leave from the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. Monday, and proceed to Calverton Cemetery on Long Island.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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