HARRISON, NY (WCBS 880) - The flag is flying at half staff Tuesday outside Harrison town hall in honor of Joe Acocella, Jr., the town clerk, who died after a lifetime of health problems. He was 30.
WCBS 880′s Sean Adams In Westchester County
At age 3, Acocella lost both of his legs to Lumbar Sacral Agenesis.
His kidneys and heart were in poor shape, but he persevered, becoming the youngest town clerk in New York history. He modernized the Harrison office and digitized a hundred years worth of documents.
Councilwoman Marlane Amelio called her friend an inspiration.
“Although you knew he was always struggling medically, he never allowed his disabilities [to] interfere with his ability,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “His family had done such an amazing job in raising him that he was always striving to do the very best that he could do.”
Despite his own frail health, Acocella found time to volunteer with disabled children.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino released a statement saying, “I am deeply saddened by the death of my friend, Harrison Town Clerk Joe Acocella. Despite the many challenges and obstacles in Joey’s life, he always smiled and persevered. He was a dedicated public servant and loved his community. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.”