Belleville mourns the death of Councilwoman Marie Strumolo Burke

The Township of Belleville mourns the loss of one its foremost and most noted women following the death of Councilwoman Marie Strumolo-Burke on Friday, March 8.

She was 82.

“The family of the trailblazing councilwoman are in our thoughts and prayers, and I would urge all residents to join me at this time to reflect on her long legacy of leadership and service to the First Ward, including Silver Lake,” Mayor Michael Melham said.

Visitation will take place Tuesday, March 12, from 4-8 p.m. at O’Boyle Funeral Home, 309 Broad St. in Bloomfield. Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, March 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church, 63 Franklin St., in Belleville. Strumolo-Burke will be laid to rest in Glendale Cemetery, 28 Hoover Ave., in Bloomfield.

She served on the Township Council since 2004. She was also the president of the Silver Lake Civic Association and clerk for the Belleville Planning Board.

The councilwoman who championed community and collaboration was honored by the Belleville High School baseball team, the Belleville Police Department and the Shafter Branch Library. More recently, she spearheaded the ceremonial renaming of Lake Street to honor former Councilman and Deputy Mayor Angelo Risoli.

“If you look beyond the myriad honors and awards, you’ll see that it all stemmed from her love of Belleville and her love of her neighbors,” Melham said.

Melham, who didn’t always see eye to eye with the late councilwoman, was extremely gracious after he received word of her death.

“Councilwoman Strumolo-Burke dedicated decades of service to our community, leaving an indelible mark on the First Ward of Belleville, particularly in Silver Lake. Her leadership roles within the Silver Lake Civic Association, her commitment as a Democrat county committee leader and her tenure as a Councilwoman made her a fixture within our township,” the mayor said.

“Though we knew Councilwoman Strumolo-Burke was facing health challenges in recent months, her absence from our last council meeting seemed more noticeable. Knowing she was likely watching the live stream, we took some time to send her well wishes. In recent days, Marie and her family remained in our thoughts and prayers. A trailblazer in many respects, it seems almost fitting that we bid her farewell on International Women’s Day.

“In honor of her memory, I have asked the township manager to drape mourning bunting at all municipal buildings and lower the flag at Town Hall to half-staff as a symbol of our collective mourning. Let us continue to hold Marie’s family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time … rest in peace, Councilwoman.”

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.