Allan L. “Jay” Ciccone, Jr., who served as a Ward 1 Newton alderman and city councilor-at-large since 2007, died unexpectedly Nov. 7, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said in a statement.
He was remembered by friends and colleagues as a staunch advocate for his community who also reveled in the love he had for his family, including his children and grandchildren.
Fuller said she would miss Ciccone as a colleague and a friend. Newton and the village of Nonantum, she said, have "lost a true champion of the people.”
Ciccone, 55, was a Newton native who was serving his seventh term on the City Council, and was a retired member of the Sherborn Police Department, according to his obituary.
Ciccone was devoted to his community and belonged to several neighborhood organizations, including the St. Mary of Carmen Society in Nonantum, his obituary said. He was also a coach for local football and baseball teams.
“He was a man of the people, his feet were on the ground, he was plain spoken, genuine, passionate, and he was a man of his word,” Fuller said. “He served with integrity and authenticity and most of all, he loved his family — ever devoted to his late mother, father, four children, and two grandchildren and his beloved girlfriend Diane.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, the St. Mary of Carmen Society said, “Our hearts are heavy over the loss of our brother, a true leader for the people of Nonantum, Alderman Allan “Jay” Ciccone Jr.”
Our hearts are heavy over the loss of our brother, a true leader for the people of Nonantum, Alderman Allan “Jay” Ciccone Jr. Rest In Peace Jay, our prayers are with you and with your family during this difficult time. https://t.co/t93QcS9A62 pic.twitter.com/XVwuAz7Vyb— St Mary of Carmen Society (@StMaryofCarmen) November 9, 2020
Newton police, in a separate statement, offered the department’s prayers, thoughts and condolences to Ciccone’s friends and family.
“A true leader for Nonantum, his constituency and the City of a Newton. He will be missed,” police said on Twitter.
During Monday’s Finance Committee meeting, members of the City Council held a moment of silence for Ciccone, and talked about their colleague’s service to the community.
Council President Susan Albright called Ciccone an unbelievably warm-hearted person, and pointed to his love for his family and her own personal conversations with him.
“He was fiercely loyal to his constituents, and any issue that would affect the Nonantum community, he was front and center, making sure their needs and their wishes were known to everyone," Albright said.
Rebecca Walker Grossman, a councilor-at-large from Ward 7, said of her colleague: “Jay had a heart of gold.”
He lit up around his family, especially his grandchildren, she said.
“I always saw him at every event in support of our firefighters and in support of our police, and he was just a stalwart advocate for our public safety,” Grossman said.
Deborah Crossley, a Ward 5 councilor-at-large, said it was Ciccone who re-initiated discussions over a city accessory apartment ordinance, which was passed in 2017. That success was in part because Ciccone had raised it years earlier, she said.
Some constituents faced difficulty being able to afford living in Newton, and he wanted to help, she said.
“He saw that, in his community, people were suffering,” Crossley said.
Andrea Kelley, a Ward 3 councilor-at-large, remembered Ciccone’s work on behalf of his community and the relationships he built with his colleagues.
“Underneath it all, was this totally full of integrity guy who valued his [city], his neighborhood, his family,” Kelley said. “I’m going to miss him.”
In 2011, during a campaign for reelection, Ciccone wrote about the satisfaction he took from serving as an elected official in a Newton Tab newspaper column.
Ciccone said he had been given a responsibility by the people of the city, and in the column, he described the significance of the position.
“I meet regularly with groups formed throughout Newton as well as on a one-on-one basis because this is what I said I would do if I were to be elected to office,” Ciccone said. “The best part of this position is it gives me the ability to hear peoples' thoughts and to hear it firsthand from the folks who want to be heard.”
Ciccone is survived by numerous loved ones and family members, according to his obituary.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bobby Donahue Scholarship Fund, 16 Kenyon St., West Newton, MA 02465, the obituary said.
John Hilliard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.