Friday, September 19, 2014
Remembering Cherry Hill's N. John Amato
John was also a proud Italian-American and a loving family patriarch.
We were honored to call him our friend as he was always accessible, helpful and considerate.
First elected in 1983, Councilman Amato was licensed public accountant,.
A graduate of Rutgers University, he also held a Master's degree from Kean College. John was active in the Sons of Italy and was former Board President of the Camden County Vocational Schools.
He was a Eucharistic minister and lector at the Queen of Heaven Roman Catholic Church and also served on the board of the YALE (Young Adolescent Learning Environment) School for children with special needs.
John and his wife, Marion, have two daughters, Rosemary and Irena, and two grandchildren, Michael and Francesca. Every December, John played Santa Claus for a number of charitable organizations and at Cherry Hill Mall.
Councilman Amato resided in Cherry Hill's Erlton neighborhood since 1963.
Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn issued the following statement regarding Amato's death Friday morning:
“Our hearts are heavy today, as we mourn the loss of our beloved friend and mentor, and the longest-serving councilperson in Cherry Hill history.
“John was elected to Council in 1983, and has served continuously on the governing body for the last 30 years.
“If you’ve lived in our community for any length of time, you’ve probably seen John around town: at community events, at his church, eating breakfast in his usual spot at Ponzio’s, or, perhaps, dressed as Santa Claus – a role he cherished almost as much as his position on Council.
“I got to know John very well when we ran for office together three years ago, and he quickly took me under his wing and shared his tremendous depth of knowledge about Cherry Hill and local government. He was an inspiration to three decades of our community’s leaders, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work so closely with him.
“In 2012, we honored John’s service and commitment to the people of Cherry Hill by dedicating the Township’s Council Chambers in his name. It was a proud moment for all of us, and as we prepare to say goodbye to our dear friend, it is comforting to know that his legacy will be preserved there forever.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters, Rosemary and Irena, and his grandchildren, Michael and Francesca.
“It has been a pleasure to serve alongside John, and an even greater honor to call him my friend. He will be forever remembered as a special person whose dedication to Cherry Hill was unparalleled. He will be deeply missed.”