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Dorothy Storm, Freeport's only female mayor, dies

Dorothy Storm, the first and only woman to

Dorothy Storm, the first and only woman to serve as mayor of Freeport in the village's 120-year history, has died. She was 78. Credit: handout

Dorothy Storm, the first and only woman to serve as mayor of Freeport in the village's 120-year history, has died. She was 78.

Storm, a former secretary who used her tenure in office to redevelop aging sections of Freeport while diversifying the South Shore village's police department, served as mayor from 1985 to 1993. She died Jan. 15 of complications from diabetes.

When Storm was appointed trustee in 1973, she became the village's first female trustee -- and as mayor she appointed its first black trustee, Ralph Smith, in 1985.

Politics came naturally to Storm, said her daughter, Karen Storm of Port Charlotte, Fla., who added her mother became heavily involved in Freeport civic life when she moved to the village from Brooklyn in 1965.

"Everything she joined she seemed to take over," Karen Storm said. "She took everything straight to the top."

Dorothy Pierce was born in Coney Island Hospital and lived in Flatbush for the first 31 years of her life, marrying Robert Storm in 1959.

She lived in Freeport until about five years ago, when she moved to Port Charlotte, where Robert Storm still resides.

As mayor, she oversaw the doubling in size of the police department, adding minority and female police officers, according to a 1992 Newsday story. She also brought in more than $10 million in federal and state grants to combat drugs, rebuild infrastructure and grow jobs, the story states.

She also was passionate about tearing down old, blighted structures to make way for business redevelopment and about expanding the village's recreation facilities, said current Freeport Trustee William White.

White -- whose father, also named William White, appointed Storm trustee in 1973 -- said Storm is an important figure in the village's history.

She had worked as a secretary for a textile company and for the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District when White chose her to fill a vacancy on the trustee board. She held the post until she became mayor.

"She was a trailblazer in her own right, because of the fact that she was the first woman to serve as trustee and the first woman mayor," White said.

Besides her daughter and husband, Storm is survived by daughters Gail of Medford and Cindy of Elmont; son Robert of Huntington Bay; sister Paula Rodrigo of South Carolina; and 10 grandchildren.

The remains were cremated. A memorial service, which will be open to the public, is scheduled for 4 p.m. on April 6 at the First Presbyterian Church on South Ocean Avenue in Freeport.

The family asks for donations to the American Diabetes Association in lieu of flowers.


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