The Examiner

Former North Castle Councilwoman Kittredge Dies at 69

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Former North Castle Councilwoman Becky Kittredge and her sheepdog, Jenny.
Former North Castle Councilwoman Becky Kittredge and her sheepdog, Jenny.

Former North Castle Councilwoman Becky Kittredge, whose unwavering dedication to her hometown led her to serve on the town board for 32 years, died Sunday morning at home after a short battle with lung cancer. She was 69.

Kittredge became just the second woman council member in North Castle history after winning her initial run for office in November 1979 and would serve for eight consecutive terms. She completed her tenure in December 2011.

For those who knew her best, it was her love for the town, its residents and its employees as well as her generosity that will be remembered most. Fittingly, a remembrance ceremony will be held this Friday, Aug. 30 at 10 a.m. at Town Hall.

“She was so dedicated and obviously loved Armonk and the Town of North Castle so much that she wanted her last bit of service to be on the steps of Town Hall,” said her stepson Peter Rotundo.

While there were many accomplishments during her time in office, Kittredge might be best known for playing the key role in converting the old firehouse on Maple Avenue into the Hergenhan Recreation Center. With little money available and two referendums having already failed, Kittredge reached out to the community. A $1 million donation was secured from Joyce Hergenhan, whose father was the town’s first police chief.

Longtime friend and Armonk resident Barbara DiGiacinto said devotion to community was well known but her generosity was equally robust. She would think nothing of helping a friend, neighbor or resident without expecting anything in return, DiGiacinto said..

“She had such an incredibly big heart and was such an open person,” she said. “You never owed her. Everything she did was out of the goodness of her heart.”

Kittredge was born on Nov. 15, 1943, to Ellis and Lucille Answorth Kittredge. She attended elementary school in Armonk and graduated from Pleasantville High School in 1962 before attending Berkeley Secretarial School in White Plains.

She began working at the White Plains School District in 1964, then left New York briefly for a job at Bermuda Aviation, located at the U.S. Air Force Base in Bermuda. When her father became ill, Kittredge returned to New York and to the White Plains School District. She eventually became an administrator and contract negotiator there. Later she became the administrator in charge of the classified staff. Kittredge retired in 2011 after 37 years of service.

Kittredge was active in the civil rights movement and marched in Harlem. She also participated in anti-Vietnam War protests and was involved with the youth group at the Armonk Methodist Church, where she led a peace march in downtown Armonk.

In 1975, Kittredge began attending town board meetings where she earned the nickname Madame Defarge because she always knitted during the meetings. Three years later Kittredge would make her first run for town board.

During her tenure, she was appointed deputy supervisor to longtime Supervisor Jack Lombardi. Her responsibilities involved acting as board liaison to the police department, highway department and the Beautification Committee.

Former supervisor William Weaver said he had a great friendship with her for many years and the two spoke regularly until Kittredge’s last week. They remained close friends even though she and Weaver, a Republican, faced off against each other in the 2009 supervisor’s race.

“She’s someone I’m going to miss,” Weaver said. “She was such a special person. Her life was dedicated to town.”

Kittredge married Marino Rotondo, Jr. on April 26, 1992, at Kings Wood Estate. Peter Rotundo said they knew each other since high school. They reconnected several years after his parents were divorced and Kittredge became like “a second mother to me,” Rotundo said.

He said their marriage reignited a spark in his father, and although Kittredge was successful in politics and professionally, the union helped make Kittredge whole. Rotundo said he will always remember the way she cared for his father before his death in 2001.

“Those years they were together were outstanding,” Rotundo said. “They were a match made in heaven.”

In addition to her town board service, Kittredge was on the North Castle Historical Society’s Board of Directors for more than 20 years. An active volunteer at the Armonk Lions Club’s annual Fol-de-Rol and the Friends of the North Castle Library’s Armonk Outdoor Art Show, Kittredge was involved in the 1976 Bicentennial celebration and orchestrated the town’s first anniversary observance of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Most recently, she was the recipient of the Pat Bresha Award for Distinguished Community Service given by the Armonk Lions Club at a dinner held in her honor last October. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Frosty, the group that sponsors the annual Frosty Day to honor Armonk as the hometown of Frosty the Snowman.

Kittredge is survived by her son Peter Marino Rotondo of Alexandria, Va. and daughter Frances Michelle Rotondo of Virginia Beach, Va. and three grandchildren, Isabella Sorano, Zachary Rotondo and Alaina Rotondo. She is also survived by her beloved Old English Sheepdog Jenny, and by hundreds of friends.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her parents, her sister Judy Kittredge and uncle Harold C. Crittenden.

A viewing will be held at the Hawthorne Funeral Home on Aug. 28 and 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A private interment will take place at All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville following Friday’s Town Hall service.







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