Emilia M. Siciliano, Borough of Shrewsbury mayor from 1999 to 2008 and Borough councilwoman for 11 years, died peacefully at the age of 90 on Thursday, April 27. She was a woman of many talents: a wife accompanying her sportswriter husband on assignments; a parent participating in all elementary, high school, college activities of her daughters while commuting to New York City to fulfill her 30-year career as a designer of lingerie, loungewear and casual dresses; and a public servant actively involved in government and politics in the Borough of Shrewsbury and Monmouth County.
Mrs. Siciliano began her 34 years of service to Shrewsbury as a member and president of the Shrewsbury Republican Club. In 1968, she was appointed to the Borough Council to fill a vacancy. In 1973, she was asked by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders to establish and direct the Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs. She served two terms as director, 1974-1976 and 1979-1982. As a result of her activities and her newspaper columns on consumer affairs, Mrs. Siciliano later became vice president of administration for an international manufacturing company.
Before becoming mayor, Mrs. Siciliano returned to the Borough Council in 1993, where she served until elected mayor in 1999 for the first of three consecutive terms. Following her retirement in 2008, Mrs. Siciliano was elected to the New Jersey League of Municipalities Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for those governing body members who have served 20 years in elected office.
Mrs. Siciliano also served 22 years on the Shrewsbury Planning Board. In 1996, Governor Christine Todd Whitman appointed her to the New Jersey Board of Professional Planners. An early champion of sustainable growth, Mrs. Siciliano received the New Jersey Planning Officials 2006 Achievement in Planning Award, which recognized her “indefatigable planning leadership.”
As mayor, she oversaw the construction of the Shrewsbury Municipal Complex, Manson Park, the 9/11 Memorial Gazebo and the new Shrewsbury Hose Company firehouse. Mrs. Siciliano was particularly proud of the continuing preservation of Shrewsbury’s historic district and the preservation of a horse farm on Sycamore Avenue.
Mrs. Siciliano moved to Falls Church, Virginia, in 2013, where she died. She was predeceased by her husband and companion of 48 years, Sam P. Siciliano. Surviving are her daughters and sons-in-law, Carol Ann Siciliano and Kevin Ogle of Falls Church, Virginia, and Dianne and John Crilly of Shrewsbury; and her cherished grandchildren, Nathaniel and Jeremiah Ogle and Kate, Jack and Tara Crilly.
A viewing will be held at Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank. Please contact the funeral home for more information. A funeral service will be celebrated at the Church of the Nativity on Saturday May 6 at 1 p.m. with interment following at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Middletown.
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