Frank Skartados, longtime Assemblyman for the 104th District in the Hudson Valley, died Sunday morning at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh just weeks after being hospitalized with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
He was 62.
The 104th district includes both the City of Newburgh and the Town of Newburgh; as well as the City of Beacon, the City of Poughkeepsie, the Hamlet of Marlboro, and the Town of Lloyd.
U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, whose 18th district includes parts of Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess, said Skartados "leaves a proud legacy as a fighter for the people he loved and a voice for many who had none.
"It’s been my honor to serve alongside him all these years. Frank is now at peace and we should pray for his family and be grateful for his life of service to us all.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro directed all Dutchess County Government facility flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Skartados.
“We mourn the loss of gentleman, pillar of service and fighter for the people," Molinaro said. "Always dedicated public servant, his work positively impacted the lives of those he served. The thoughts and prayers of a grateful community are with Frank and his family today.”
Shelley Mayer of Westchester was elected the same time as Skartados, a fellow Democrat, both in special elections.
"We also both represented diverse districts in the Hudson Valley that included large cities," Mayer said. "Frank was a true fighter for the Hudson Valley and those he represented.
"He advocated tirelessly for both the cities and rural communities that he proudly served. I will miss having Frank seated behind me. My thoughts and love are with his daughter, family and loved ones."
Skartados owned a small farm in Milton and renovated properties in downtown Poughkeepsie.
He was born in Greece and moved to America at age 14 with his mother.
Within months of arriving in New York City, his mother returned to Greece, leaving him to build his own life in America where he taught himself English and worked his way through school.
“Frank came to America as a young man, worked to pay his way through school, built a business, and won election to represent his neighbors in the State House," Maloney said. "If that’s not the American Dream, I don’t know what is."
In a statement, the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation said, it was "saddened" by Skartados' death.
"Our friend of labor and of the working people, our Assemblyman who has been an advocate for workers, schools, and the environment is at peace.
We send our deepest condolences to Frank's family, friends and staff and to our community for such great loss," the statement said.
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