Essex County today is mourning the loss of former Clerk Patrick McNally of Verona, who died last night, apparently of a heart attack at age 50.
Mr. McNally served as county clerk for ten years, from 1995 to 2005.
An Essex County Democrat with over 20 years of experience in public life, he was elected to the Irvington School Board and City Council prior to becoming clerk.
His colleagues plan to honor Mr. McNally at an annual political gathering sponsored by the North Ward Center and scheduled this Friday morning at the Breakers in Spring Lake.
Mr. McNally sided with Tom Giblin in the 2002 Essex County executive’s contest when Giblin lost to Joe DiVincenzo.
Born in Newark, Mr. McNally relocated at a young age to neighboring Irvingon. He attended Kean College where he was host of a well-received radio show.
“He had a love of government and had an opportunity at a relatively young age to serve as Essex County clerk,” said Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, (D-34), Montclair.
“He was very proud of his Irish heritage,” the assemblyman added, referring to the son of an Irish immigrant.
“Ours was a relationship that goes back many years,” Giblin said. “It’s a shock to see him go. It’s a big jolt. But if you look at his record, he classified what was good about people who devote themselves to public service.”
The former clerk maintained a connection to the political world of New Jersey through his business, AM/PM, a government jobs training center based in Verona.
He left behind a wife and four children.
One of Mr. McNally’s brothers is a retired police officer, another is an active firefighter.