EVELYN J. AQUILA (nee Farrell) passed away peacefully at her home in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey on June 3, 2020 following a short illness. Evelyn was born in New York, New York on December 9, 1932 to George F. Farrell and Thelma J. Farrell (nee Tierney). Born and raised in the Hells Kitchen Section of Manhattan, Evelyn attended Sacred Heart Elementary School and Cathedral High School. Upon graduating Cathedral High School at 16, she attended evening classes at St. John’s University while working fulltime. After several interruptions in her education, Evelyn received her Bachelors Degree in Education from Brooklyn College in 1978.
In 1955 Evelyn married Frank Aquila and they established a home in the Boro Park Section of Brooklyn. While raising three children, Evelyn became involved in the community and served in numerous roles. Among the many leadership roles that she served in was as President of Community School Board for District 21 and Chairman of the Community Planning Board for District 12.
Evelyn had a lifelong commitment to the Catholic Church and the Democratic Party. She served in many capacities at Saint Athanasius Church in Brooklyn and as an official of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Among the roles that Evelyn served in was as Human Life Coordinator of the Diocese of Brooklyn and as Deputy Superintendent of Education of the Diocese of Brooklyn. For her decades of service to the Diocese of Brooklyn, she received a Papal Medal from Pope John Paul II.
Evelyn also served in many roles in Democratic Party politics. A longtime leader of the Roosevelt Democratic Club in Brooklyn, Evelyn served as a member of the New York State Democratic Committee for the 48th Assembly District and for almost eight years was Vice Chairman of the New York State Democratic Party. During her years in Democratic Party politics, Evelyn was a delegate to numerous state and national party conventions. In 1981, Evelyn was elected as Vice Chairman pro tem of the New York State Delegation to the Electoral College.
In 1993, Governor Mario Cuomo appointed Evelyn as one of the two Democratic Commissioners of the New York State Board of Elections. Evelyn remained a Commissioner of the New York State Board of Elections for 20 years and her final appointment was by Governor Andrew Cuomo. At the time of her retirement as Commissioner, Evelyn was the longest serving New York State commissioner and the longest serving Commissioner of Elections in the history of New York State.
Evelyn is predeceased by her husband Frank, her parents, her four brothers and three sisters-in-law. Evelyn is survived by her son Francis and his wife Cathy Aquila of New York, NY, her daughter Jane and her husband Andrew Malecki of White House Station, NJ and her son James Aquila of Brooklyn, NY. She is also survived by her grandchildren Jackie and her husband Colin McConville, Alex Malecki, Jessica and her husband Bob Beasley, Jillian Aquila and Elaina Aquila and her great-grandchildren Kaylee McConville, Tyler McConville and Warren Beasley.
In lieu of flowers donations should be made in Evelyn’s memory to the Saint Athanasius Academy Scholarship Fund, 2154 61st Street, Brooklyn, New York 10004.
Consistent with the current need for social distancing, there will be no funeral at this time and the burial will be private. A celebration of Evelyn’s life and a Catholic Mass of Resurrection in her memory will be scheduled for later this year.