BEDFORD, N.Y. – Friends of the late Bedford Town Justice Kevin J. Quaranta will gather on the Town House lawn Sunday to dedicate a memorial tree to a man who touched the lives of many in the community.
Quaranta had served as town justice since 2004 when he died July 27 at the age of 56 after years of battling melanoma.
Friends Bea Rhodes and Bedford Town Board member Chris Burdick are the chief organizers of Sunday's ceremony, which will take place at 1:30 p.m.
"He was a good and loyal friend. I have so many wonderful memories. So many of us have," said Rhodes, a member of the Bedford Tree Advisory Board, which selected the memorial tree.
Town workers installed the tree, a tupelo, at the end of October. The tree and its plaque were paid for by the Friends + Family of Kevin Quaranta.
The donor organization is made up of Quaranta's friends in town; family members including his wife, Judith Peterson, and three children, Christina, Kevin and William; the Bedford Democratic Committee; and members of the many organizations in which he participated.
Quaranta was a former president and zone chair of the Bedford Village Lions Club, and coached Bedford-Pound Ridge Little League baseball and St. Patrick’s Church Catholic Youth Organization basketball.
After Quaranta’s unexpected passing, the Town Board appointed former Bedford Supervisor John R. Dinin to serve in his stead until the end of 2012, when the newly elected justice will take over.
In November, Bedford lawyer David Menken defeated another Bedford attorney, Todd Gabor, in a special election to fill the position.
Menken said succeeding his good friend Quaranta made the victory bittersweet. “My desire had been to serve with him," Menken said in an election night interview with The Daily Voice. "He was a mentor and a role model.”
Quaranta was a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the U.S. armed forces. He graduated from Fordham College in 1978 and Fordham Law School in 1981.
A former Bronx assistant district attorney, Quaranta started his own practice, Quaranta & Associates, in 1979, which grew from Mount Kisco to serve the Bronx and Manhattan.
Quaranta served as a past president of the Bronx Bar Association, a board member of the Catholic Big Brothers and a board member of the Westchester Fordham Law School Alumni Association.