PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Former Port Chester Mayor and Trustee John Branca was remembered as a dedicated public servant and loving father as he was laid to rest Wednesday.
Branca died Sunday at his home at the age of 66. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1992, and as mayor of Port Chester from 1993 to 1995. He was re-elected to the Board of Trustees in 2010.
"He was the most loving, caring and generous person I ever met. He was also my hero and my best friend," said his son Gene at the funeral service held at Our Lady of the Rosary Church.
Gene Branca recalled his father coaching him in Little League and never missing a game. He said he enjoyed spending more time with him as he got older.
"I also enjoyed seeing him return to political office, a place where he shined. He helped so many people in the village over the years, and every day over this past year, I'd hear at least 15 people every day ask me 'How's Dad doing?' That was a testament to how loved and respected he was."
Branca's son John reflected on his memories of his father taking him fishing, teaching him how to ride a bike, eating dinner together as a family and his pride for Branca when he won his election for mayor.
"I will remember all the sacrifices, his love of traditions, his pride in his family history and legacy, his loyalty, his fairness, his acceptance, his unconditional love, his strength, his presence when he entered a room, his faith and unyielding protection of everyone he loved," John Branca said.
"What I also will remember and hate the most, is saying goodbye to him."
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