RED BANK: FORMER MAYOR NICOSIA DIES AT 101

Former mayor Benedict Nicosia riding in Red Bank’s centennial parade in 2008. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Former Red Bank mayor Benedict R. Nicosia died peacefully at his home Saturday, according to an obituary.

He was 101 years old.

Nicosia, seated, at the Mayor’s Ball in 2015, above, and as seen in the Red Bank Register in 1965, below. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Nicosia served two two-year terms as mayor from 1963 through 1966, according to the now-defunct Red Bank Register.

He also was a longtime leader of the borough’s Democratic party; an assistant Monmouth County prosecutor; and served as a Superior Court Judge in Freehold.

Mayor Pasquale Menna has ordered municipal flags to be lowered in Nicosia’s honor.

“I extend the sympathy and condolences of all our residents who remembered the always smiling and gracious judge,” Menna wrote in a Facebook post.

According to a Two River Times profile, Nicosia was born in Brooklyn on December 30, 1920, and moved with his family to Red Bank in 1923.

He graduated from Red Bank High School (now Red Bank Regional High) in 1939, and was inducted into the RBR Education Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

A World War II veteran, Nicosia served in the Army’s Signal Corps in England, and later earned bachelor’s and law degrees from Rutgers, according to his obituary.

In 1978 he was appointed by Governor Brendan Byrne to the Superior Court and sat in the family, civil, and criminal divisions for 10 years, the last three as the presiding judge of the criminal division.

After retiring from the bench, he joined the law firm now known as McKenna, Dupont, Higgins, Stone and Washburne, headed by one of his successors as mayor, Ed McKenna.

Nicosia’s wife of 71 years, the former Dorothy Durando, died in 2017. They are survived by daughters Lauren, who serves as chairwoman of the borough zoning board, and Mary, clinic director at the Parker Family Health Center.

Services are pending, according to Thompson Memorial Home in Red Bank.

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