Dr. Lorraine Colville (r.) with prominent attorney Dudley Gaffin and his wife, Siggy Gaffin, at the ASA's 8th annual Hall of Fame Dinner, December 3, 1992
For Immediate Release Contact: Patrick Turturro
New York, NY 212-227-8080
January 29, 2014 - Dr. Lorraine Colville, Ph.D., former Regional Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, New York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and a founder of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, died Monday, January 20, 2014, at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. She was 88 years old.
The cause was heart failure, according to Louis O. Schwartz, President of the American Sportscasters Association and Co-Guardian for the Personal Needs and Property Management of Lorraine Colville.
"Lorraine was one of my closest and dearest friends and advisors for over 45 years, both personal and political," Schwartz said. "She and I had been political allies dating back to the years of Mayor Bob Wagner, when I served as Secretary of the New York City Department of Public Works, to Senator Pat Moynihan, where she was a valuable asset in his successful election the first time he ran for U.S. Senator, while I was his Deputy Campaign Manager.
"Her love and passion for the success of the American Sportscasters Association, where she was deeply involved in the day-to-day operations, as well as working towards the success of 14 Hall of Fame dinners, is in part the reason the ASA has continued to flourish after 35 years," concluded Schwartz. She was named an Honorary Member of the ASA in 2005.
Dr. Colville was considered one of the great political minds when it came to local politics over a span of 50 years in New York City and the nation, according to Co-Guardian and prominent attorney Sid Davidoff.
"She was a confidant not only of former Mayor John V. Lindsay, but former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes; William Bennett, former Education Secretary; Raymond Kelly, former Police Commissioner; former Governor Nelson Rockefeller; Robert Armao, a Rockefeller aide; Mrs. Mario (Matilde) Cuomo and Carmine De Sapio," stated Davidoff.
Robert Armao, who was with Dr. Colville less than 30 minutes before her heart attack, stated: "Lorraine Colville's guidance, political acumen and knowledge of government were invaluable to me during my days in the Governor of New York's office and in the U.S. Vice President's office. Lorraine's politics transcended political parties. Dr. Colville was an inspiration to the hundreds of young students she mentored over a 40-year period in the educational system."
Another of her close friends and mentees is Hugh Wyatt, former health affairs editor for the New York Daily News and editor/publisher of The Medical Herald and The Spiritual Herald newspapers. He called her “a friend and sounding board,” who helped to guide his journalism career for more than 40 years. “She helped me establish many of my contacts, which made my job easier,” Wyatt said.
Dr. Sandy Lanzone, longtime friend and a professor of communication and theater arts at John Jay, said she witnessed her efforts firsthand during the 1970s fiscal crisis when the government attempted to shut down John Jay College. “Not only was she instrumental in starting the school, but she played a pivotal role in keeping it open,” she said.
Charles Slepian, founder of the Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center, said that Colville’s “contributions in the molding of so many lives, especially of her students, will remain a lasting tribute to her."
Colville, whose parents came from Russia, was born in the Bronx of Jewish parentage. She converted to Catholicism while at John Jay College, according to Father Swizkey, close friend and retired priest.
Colville is a longtime resident of Manhattan's Greenwich Village, most recently residing at 132 Thompson Street, where she was well-known and liked throughout the close-knit neighborhood. She has no survivors; her only brother died 10 years ago.
The funeral mass will be held on Thursday, January 30, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 154 Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village.
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