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RED BANK: EX MAYOR MICHAEL ARNONE DIES

 

Michael Arnone. (Photo by John T. Ward Click to enlarge.)

By BRIAN DONOHUE

Dr. Michael Arnone, a well-known dentist and father of five who served three terms as mayor of Red Bank from 1979 to 1990, died on July 1. 

Arnone also served in the state Assembly for seven consecutive terms from 1989 to 2004. 

He passed away peacefully surrounded by family, according to an obituary published by Thompson Memorial Home. He was 91.

Michael Arnone on election night in 2015.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Arnone was born, raised, and lived all of his life in Red Bank, marrying his high school sweetheart Barbara. The two had five children and were married for 67 years. Barbara Arnone died in July 2023.

From Michael Arnone’s obituary:

Michael was a beloved father and grandfather who loved to cook and entertain friends and family. No one left his home without a full stomach. Holidays were always a big celebration for Mike and Barb, with a lot of Italian traditions, great food, and lots of laughs.   Michael was an avid baseball fan, coaching little league for his four sons, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals. In retirement, his ultimate love was serving as a NJ Racing Commissioner.  

He served in the US Army from 1959 to 1961, then opened a dental practice in Red Bank the year he left the service.

“He was definitely proud of being home grown,’’ recalled former Mayor Pasquale Menna, who knew him for decades. 

“He was proud of his service and more importantly he knew he was a Republican in what was then basically a Democratic town,” Menna said. “So what he tried to do is, he did bridge the gap to a very large extent. And he was very close with both Democrats and Republicans because he had a very affable character.”

The New Jersey Globe recounted his career in the Assembly:

“He played a role in rolling back Gov. Jim Florio’s $2.8 billion tax increase after the GOP took control of the legislature in 1991, advocated for consolidated municipal services for small towns, and pushed for a constitutional amendment to permit a two-tiered property tax rate in urban areas.   He was a staunch supporter of Monmouth County’s horse racing industry.  He was a sponsor of Megan’s Law.”

Mayor Billy Portman recalled meeting Arnone for the first time while campaigning door to door last year. “His mind was incredibly sharp, and he was clearly staying up to date with what was going on in town. He gave me some spot on advice.”

Portman continued: “His contributions to Red Bank and beyond will not soon be forgotten.”

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 9th from 2-4 & 7-9 pm at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ 07701. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 10th at 11:30 am at St. James Church, 94 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ 07701. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Middletown, NJ

 

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