2015-02-25 / Front Page

Senator George Onorato Is Mourned

Former New York state Senator George Onorato peacefully passed away at his home in East Elmhurst, surrounded by his children and family on February 21, 2015, at the age of 86.

At this time of his parting we celebrate the life of a distinguished gentleman and statesman who was loved and respected by his community as a public servant and by his family. He was very well known for his humorous one-liners which seemed to roll off his tongue with ease. He followed his father’s advice to speak little but mean a lot. Those who knew George Onorato are well aware he loved to be out on the golf course and he mastered that sphere as well as politics, achieving two holes-inone.

He was the youngest of five, born to Italian immigrants, Maria Racana and Biagio Onorato from Accettura, Basilicata, Italy on November 5, 1928, in College Point. He attended PS 84, JHS 141 and Long Island City High School. He served in the US Army in the 118th Medical Battalion during the Korean War, for which he received the Presidential Citation.

Prior to his election to the New York State Senate in 1983, he was a bricklayer, then Secretary/Treasurer of Bricklayers Local 41 from 1968-1983. During this time he was also an active member and President of the Regular Taminent Democratic Club and served as District Leader for many years.

He was elected to the New York State Senate in 1983, where he served until 2010. He served as a member of the Senate Minority leadership team and Assistant Majority Leader/Liaison to Executive branch. Former Senator Onorato was beloved by his constituents and respected by his colleagues on both sides of the floor. Throughout his tenure in the State Senate, Onorato was a strong advocate of the city’s working families, consumers, senior citizens, veterans and children, sponsoring many laws of importance, such as the Used Car Lemon law, which have had a positive impact on all of the people of New York.

Senator Onorato has made significant contributions to the welfare of his community, which he continued to support until his death. Recently, he was instrumental in getting the Aquatics Center built for the Boys and Girls Club in Astoria, and so it was named in his honor. 

He received the distinguished Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2001 for being able to fulfill the American Dream, for which his parents immigrated to America. He was honored, not only for his personal accomplishments, but also for what he gave back to his community.

He is predeceased by his first wife, Josephine Onorato, who passed away in 1990 from a long battle with cancer, and by his second wife, Athena Georgakakis, also after a long battle with cancer. George Onorato is survived by his children, Joanne, George, and Dr. Janice Onorato, his grandchildren Sophia, Anastasia, Joseph, Mia, George, Louis, and great-grandchildren, Cameron and Skylar.

Visitation is being held at Farenga Funeral Home, located at 38-08 Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria today, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Visit www.farengafuneralhome.com for more information.

The Funeral Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, located at 21-17 45th Street, on February 26, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

Donations may be made in his memory to SHAREing and CAREing Cancer Support Services 45-02 Ditmars Blvd., Suite 1016, Astoria NY, 11105, or online, www.shareingandcareing.catseyedevelopment.com/donate/

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