Community News

February 17, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) Traffic along Harrison Avenue was diverted onto Hamilton Street to allow the Harrison Police and Fire Honor Guards and Elected Officials to assemble in front of Harrison Town Hall for Mayor Raymond J. McDonough's funeral. Mayor McDonough awaited an almost full to capacity Holy Cross Church church composed of a United States Congressman, New Jersey Assembly Members, Mayors from all of Hudson County, and Council members from Harrison, East Newark, and Kearny; as well as Police Officer, Firefighters, Emergency Services units, and Harrisonians wishing to bid the Mayor a farewell and support the Mayor's wife, Constance McDonough, and her family.


Honor Mayor Raymond McDonough and Governor Chris Christie in background at the Harrison Path Station Modernization Ground Breaking Ceremony. Photograph courtesy of The Observer


It was obvious that Mayor McDonough's wife, Constance McDonough, was receiving support from her family, friends and clergy but that the events of the past week had taken a toll on her. She was supported by her two brothers throughout the funeral mass and the ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetary in North Arlington.

February 16, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) Officers from the Harrison Police Department and the Hudson County Sheriff's office assisted, both inside and outside the Mulligan's Funeral Home in Harrison, those wishing to extend to Mayor Raymond J. McDonough's family their condolences on his passing.


Mourners Carry Flower Wreath to Honor Mayor Raymond McDonough. Photograph courtesy of NJ.com


There was also a display of photographs and Mayor McDonough's memoriabilia including a "Shovels in the Ground" display of several of the ground breaking ceremonies attended by Mayor McDonough. On display both in the funeral home and the nearby Town Hall were photographs from a picture of Mayor McDonough and his twin brother on a pony when they were babies to more recent pictures of Mayor McDonough in front of the Harrison Path Station annoucing the Port Authority of NY and NJ plan to revitalize the station into a modern transit hub.

At one point the line stretched down the block leading to the funeral home and snaked through rooms in the Mulligan's Funeral Home that were opened for the first time in recent memory to accomodate the large number of mourners. Photographs displays throughout the funeral home allowed mourners to reflect upon the life of Mayor McDonough while waiting on line.

One of many photograph displays at Mayor McDonough's wake. Photograph courtesy of NJ.com


Various elected officials attended the wake to express their condolences to Mayor McDonough's wife, Constance McDonough and the greater McDonough family. It is expected that Holy Cross Church will be filled to capacity tomorrow for the funeral mass which is scheduled for 10 a.m.

February 13, 2014 (Jersey City, NJ) Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise announced today that the County of Hudson will be flying their flags at half staff to honor Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough tomorrow.

Mayor McDonough with County Executive Thomas DeGise at Red Bulls Stadium Groundbreaking ceremony . Photograph courtesy of NJ.com


County offices, with exception of emergency personnel, are closed today because of the State of Emergency declaration due to the snow storm hitting New Jersey and the greater northeast.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. KOTW will publish the funeral arrangements as soon as those arrangements are announced.

It is expected that a funeral mass will be held at Holy Cross Church in Harrison NJ where Mayor McDonough was a parishioner. The church is directly across the street from Town Hall in Harrison.

February 14, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) Funeral Arrangements for Mayor Raymond J. McDonough have been announced and are as follows:

Visitation:

Mulligan's Funeral Home . Photograph courtesy of NJ.com

Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Avenue, Harrison, NJ 07029

Sunday, February 16, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass:

Holy Cross Church, 16 Church Square, Harrison, NJ 07029

Monday, February 17, 2014, 10:00 a.m.

If lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Holy Cross Restoration Fund, 16 Church Square, Harrison, NJ 07029 or the Harrison Education Foundation, 501 Hamilton Street, Harrison, NJ 07029 in Memory of Mayor Raymond J. McDonough.

February 12, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough sustained a heart attack this afternoon and died. The Mayor who of late was in the news with respect to his early endorsement of Governor Chris Christie had conducted a meeting with Harrison elected officials this morning and had returned from lunch when he had a heart attack. He was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.

Mayor McDonough in his Office at Town Hall. Photograph courtesy of NJ.com


There were only a few employees in the Town Hall of Harrison as today is Lincoln's Birthday when McDonough became ill.

KOTW will provide additional details and funeral arrangements as soon as those are available. The flag in front of Town Hall was lowered by town employee James Geddis upon hearing of the Mayor's passing. Our condolensces to the McDonough family and the great Town of Harrison family.

Leave your rememberance of Mayor McDonough and express your condolences on our Discussion Board.

Here is the full text of the official statement released by the Town of Harrison this afternoon:

MAYOR RAYMOND J. McDONOUGH

(1949-2014)

It is with great sadness that the Harrison Town Council announces that Mayor Raymond J. McDonough died suddenly today at his office in Town Hall. Raymond had just started his 20th year as Mayor of Harrison, the Town that he loved and to which he dedicated his time and talents. Today, Harrison lost a native son, a tireless advocate, and a dear friend. Raymond’s door was always open, and he never passed up an opportunity to talk about Harrison and its residents.

No politician was more caring or generous than Raymond. He would give the shirt off of his back if someone was in need. Countless families had holiday meals, heat, and roofs over their heads because of Raymond’s generosity. He never said “no” to anybody.

Raymond began his political career in 1978, when he was sworn-in as councilman for the 2nd Ward. He continued to represent his 2nd Ward neighbors for 17 years, until he was elected as Mayor. A gifted athlete, Raymond proudly served as the Recreation Chairman for many years, and the youth of Harrison benefitted greatly.

Raymond not only followed in the political footsteps of his father, who was a Harrison Alderman and Hudson County Freeholder, he also followed him professionally, becoming a Master Plumber and later a Foreman for Plumbers Local 24.

As part of his plan to revitalize Harrison, Raymond was in the midst of a massive redevelopment effort designed to replace 250 acres of decaying and contaminated industrial land with residences, business and entertainment facilities, and office space. Under Raymond’s constant direction, the Town saw the rise of Red Bull Arena, the Hampton Inn, Panasonic’s RD center, the River-Park condos, Harrison Station, a 1,400 space parking garage, and many others. After many years of exhausting efforts, Raymond convinced the Port Authority of NY/NJ to re-build the Town’s antiquated and inaccessible PATH station.

Indicative of his devotion to Harrison’s senior residents, Raymond was the driving force behind the new affordable senior apartments being constructed on Harrison Avenue, using entirely grants and fees collected from redevelopers. According to Raymond, nothing was too good for “his” seniors.

As part of his efforts to help Harrison’s underprivileged, Raymond partnered with North Hudson Community Action Corp. to bring a state-of-the-art medical clinic to the Town, so that uninsured families can receive quality healthcare. Construction is scheduled to begin in March.

As devoted as Raymond was to Harrison and its residents, he was more devoted to his family. Raymond leaves behind his beloved wife of over 40 years, Connie, who has been a constant source of support to Raymond throughout his political career. For that, Connie deserves the thanks and admiration of Harrison’s residents. Raymond also left behind his twin brother, Thomas, sisters Maureen, Kathleen, and many in-laws, nieces and nephews.