Ann Famigliette spent decades in the rough-and-tumble Nassau County political world, but she remained a warm, giving person “with a good heart” until her death Saturday, a longtime friend said.
“She was the kindest and most selfless individual you could have known,” said Ian Siegel, a former deputy county executive who served with Famigliette in the administration of former County Executive Thomas Suozzi. “She always did everything for everybody and never let anyone do anything for her. She was just a really rare person in politics.”
Famigliette, 68, died of gallbladder cancer in the Glen Cove house where she had lived her entire life, said her sister, Susan Famigliette, who moved six years ago from Houston to Glen Cove to, with her husband, help care for her.
Famigliette served as executive assistant to Suozzi from 1994 to 2009, first when he was mayor of Glen Cove and then while he was county executive.
“She was incredibly loyal, which is the most important quality in government and politics,” said Suozzi, the Democratic candidate in the Nov. 8 3rd Congressional District race.
Her good nature, the attention she showered on people and her thoughtfulness made her effective and “a very reliable confidante,” he said.
Famigliette led the Glen Cove Democratic Party for more than a decade, until last year, when her illness led her to step down, said Michael Zangari, the current party chairman.
“She left a hole in Glen Cove, and a hole in Glen Cove politics, and it will take a long time to fill that hole,” he said.
Politics ran in the Famigliette family. Her father, Michael, and uncle, John, were long involved in Glen Cove Democratic politics, Susan Famigliette said.
She, in turn, helped others learn the political ropes.
“She took a lot of people under her wings and mentored them in political campaigns,” Susan Famigliette said.
County Legis. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said Famigliette was a believer in Democratic values.
“She had a soft spot for people in difficult situations and really tried to help them,” she said. “She looked out for the little guys in our communities.”
In addition to her sister, survivors include brother-in-law William Paul Schilling Sr. and nephew William Paul Schilling Jr.
Visiting will be 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at McLaughlin Kramer Megiel Funeral Home in Glen Cove. Services are 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Glen Cove. Donations in her memory can be made to the Glen Cove Democratic Committee.