May 9, 2020
Last weekend many in New Hyde Park said our final goodbyes to a beloved member of our Village Family and our community: Mark Farina. Mark passed away after weeks of battling COVID-19. It was terribly heartbreaking for so many of us in New Hyde Park.
Happy Retirement Mark! The Village recently had the pleasure of sharing a festive evening with one of our most valued “family” members. Mark Farina has served this Village in the Department of Public Works starting his career as a laborer and rising through the ranks to Foreman. After 37 years of dedicated service to this Village, Mark decided to retire and enjoy quality time with his family and friends. On Saturday, February 6, a celebration was held in Mark’s honor at the Inn at New Hyde Park. The huge attendance of Village family (active and retired), friends, local elected officials, and business associates was a true testament to Mark’s accomplishments. Throughout the evening, Mark’s wife, Debbie and their three sons, James, Matthew, and Thomas beamed with pride as Mark’s professional and volunteer efforts were publicly recognized by Mayor Daniel Petruccio, Village management, co-workers, and a number of local elected officials, business associates, and service groups. In his opening remarks, Superintendent James McCloat referred to Mark as “a true Village son”. Mark was not only dedicated to the needs of this Village, but he also served this community as a volunteer fireman in the NHP Fire Department and as a Little League Coach. From all of us who were fortunate to work for, or with Mark, we wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavors.
Village of New Hyde Park Newsletter, Winter 2010
Mark grew up in New Hyde Park and gave so much of his life making our community a better and safer place to live. He was a volunteer firefighter for his entire adult life and spent his professional career serving the village in the Department of Public Works. Mark began working for the Village of New Hyde Park in June of 1973. He retired on December 26, 2009. As the Foreman of the Highway Crew, Mark was the person that so many residents turned to solve practical problems on their streets. You could always rely on Mark Farina. Our Deputy Village Clerk, Eileen Raguseo recovered this excerpt from the 2010 Village Newsletter. The description of Mark’s retirement party is an indication of the love the Village Family had for Mark Farina.
The love and respect New Hyde Park have had for Mark was demonstrated again as the New Hyde Park Fire Department arranged a motorcade last Saturday through village roads. Many members and their families lined the streets to pay their respects and share in our collective grief. Firefighters were joined by friends, relatives and neighbors who were compelled to honor a man that has done so much for all of us. All four living village mayors stood in reverent silence alongside Nassau County Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello as the Protection Engine Pumper Truck he served on and carried him for the last time. Mark’s wife Debbie and their three sons; James, Matthew and Thomas walked behind. Bagpipes played in solemn tribute in Mark’s honor.
Such a procession may seem unusual for someone we might not use the term “dignitary” or a celebrity to describe. Mark himself, was too humble to think of himself in those terms. But Mark was unusual. He had the love and respect of the people of New Hyde Park; something more important than being a dignitary. Mark earned those feelings because of his character, his caring and respectfulness and his willingness and his actions to help others. Mark was the salt of earth. He was part of New Hyde Park – and he always will be. If New Hyde Park had a Mount Rushmore, Mark’s face would be engraved on it.
The Village Family is deeply saddened by our loss. Our hearts and prayers go out to Debbie, his sons, their wives and children, and the entire extended Farina family.
Losing Mark came on the heels of the loss of another much-loved retiree from the Village of New Hyde Park, Eddie Kotarsky. Eddie joined the Village Family just three weeks before Mark and retired two weeks before him.
Edward Kotarsky began his career in the Department of Public Works on June 4, 1973. He started working as a lugger on the back of a garbage truck in the Sanitation Department, became a Motor Equipment Operator. He transferred to the Highway Department and mastered every facet of street maintenance, tree trimming and removal, catch basin cleaning, asphalt paving and all the other skills of the department, including serving as the alternative Roll-Off Truck operator. He became the equipment repair mechanic and subsequently was promoted to the Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant. In 1999, his peers elected him as the Local President of the Union. In 2000, Eddie was promoted to the position of Supervisor, wearing three hats as Administrative Assistant, Supervisor, and Local President of the Union, never letting one overlap or interfere with another. Eddie was a true example of an employee who worked hard, dedicated himself to his job performance and climbed the ladder to the top of his field until his retirement in 2010.
He was admired and respected by the entire crew in Public Works. Eddie was bright, sincere and dedicated to his family, friends, and co-workers. The Village Board and his former Village co-workers will mourn his loss.
Eddie also served as our announcer at the Jericho Turnpike street fair until his retirement in 2010. He would always come back to check in.
We will always miss Mark and Eddie. Their impact on the people of New Hyde Park is irrefutable. Our sorrow is palpable, but their memories will endure in our hearts.
Lawrence J. Montreuil
Mayor, Village of New Hyde Park