August 10, 2012

Remembering Kevin Quaranta

Perhaps the best way to understand Kevin Quaranta is to listen to the words he had to say about others. That’s because they also say a lot about him.

Mr. Quaranta, 56, died at his Bedford home on July 27 surrounded by his wife, Judith, and their children, Christina, Kevin and William. He had been battling melanoma — his second bout with the disease in six years — although most friends and neighbors were unaware that he was sick. Despite crippling discomfort, Mr. Quaranta presided over town court the week prior to his death.

In remembering American veterans at Memorial Day in Bedford Village less than three months ago, Mr. Quaranta delivered a keynote address that encouraged those in attendance to reflect on “the cost of the freedoms that we all enjoy and perhaps at times take for granted.”

Speaking at the funeral mass of Mr. Delaney at St. Patrick’s Church in February, Mr. Quaranta summed up his friend’s legacy: “George was ferocious, tenacious and fiercely loyal to Democratic Party principles, most of all those being about fairness and justice for all people,” the judge said.

He described Mr. Delaney as a deeply loyal friend to many people, in Bedford and beyond. “The greatest love of George’s life was family — there’s no doubt,” said Mr. Quaranta. “His family was his greatest pleasure.”

Similar eulogies could be said — and have been — of Mr. Quaranta.

Like Mr. Delaney, a U.S. combat veteran, it is easy to see where Mr. Quaranta’s early inspiration derived.

Kevin Quaranta enlisted in the Army’s JAG Corps in his 20s, and served again as a Reservist during the Persian Gulf War. He stated that his father, “a father I never knew,” served in the Army in the Italian theater during World War II. Dr. John V. Quaranta died when Kevin Quaranta was only 19 months old; Kevin and his sister, Mary Beth Morrissey, were raised by their mother, Mary Ann.

At the Memorial Day remembrance this year, Mr. Quaranta urged residents to serve their country or community, if not in the armed forces, then by volunteering with the local fire department, the Lions Club, of which he is a member, or one of the other “vital service organizations that make our town of Bedford and our great country.”

It was both a signal of his valor and of his underlying modesty — a contrast to his boisterous and welcoming exterior — that Mr. Quaranta died with the knowledge of very few that he had even been ill.

He was a past president of the Bronx Bar Association, a board member of the Catholic Big Brothers, a board member of the Westchester Fordham Law School Alumni Association and a coach for the Bedford-Pound Ridge Little League.

Anyone who joined the hundreds of mourners at Clark funeral home, St. Patrick’s or with the family was touched by the depth of respect, admiration and friendship that Mr. Quaranta was to invoke in others.

Be it on an athletic field, in Bedford’s schools during Law Day, as a leading member of the Bedford Village Lions Club, as a Democratic Party powerhouse, or in the courtrooms of New York City and Bedford, Mr. Quaranta’s words remain an inspiration. “He touched the lives of many,” said Mr. Quaranta of Mr. Delaney.”

The same will be true of Kevin Quaranta.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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