Queens Democratic insider Rose Perrotta dead at 81

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Well-known Queens political insider Rose Perrotta, who was vice chairwoman of the Queens Line Democratic Club and a Queens Democratic committeewoman, died Jan. 22. She was 81.

Perrotta succumbed to a battle with cancer that started in her kidneys and quickly spread to the rest of her body. She was buried at St. John’s Cemetery Friday, after funeral services at St. Gregory the Great Church in Bellerose.

Perrotta was the longtime political confident to her husband, Carmine Perrotta, 86, who was the Democratic district leader for three terms from 1980 to 1987 in the old 23rd and 25th assembly districts, which represented Bellerose, Glen Oaks, Floral Park, Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston and Queens Village. They were married for 59 years.

“She was everything,” said Carmine Perrotta as his voice trembled. “She did everything. She was a political person and very generous. She was a beautiful person.”

He said she worked as a legal secretary and an insurance broker, but was also a firm believer in giving back to the community. Perrotta said his wife was active in five political clubs and donated her time and energy to St. Gregory’s and numerous other local churches.

“She helped everyone,” he said as he held back the tears. “She was a very generous person, a great person.”

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son, Robert, a principal in the Fairfield, Conn. school system; her daughter, Patricia, a former editor who lives in Albany; and two grandchildren.

Corey Bearak, president of the Queens Line Democratic Club, described Perrotta as someone who always cared about people and their well-being. He said she was always there for her husband and family.

“She was my political mom and more then that a second mom,” he said. “I will miss her council and support. She was there for my family and deserved the moniker my wife gave her: “classy woman.’”

Any attempt to compare a particular person to Perrotta was the highest compliment, Bearak said,

“She was about the loveliest person I have ever met,” said Honey Miller, a Democratic district leader, who has known the Perrottas for more than 40 years. “I loved her. I am heartbroken.”

She described Rose Perrotta as a devoted mother who never failed to cook a meal for her children anytime she went to visit them in other cities.

“Rarely is one so blessed that they can profess the joy of knowing someone as warm and caring as Rose Perrotta,” said Richard Petrocelli. “Her commitment to her religious faith and moral values was mirrored daily in her civic and political volunteerism.

“All who knew her were enriched by her friendship and devastated by her death,” he said.

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

Updated 7:01 pm, October 10, 2011
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