July 10, 2013 By Christian Murray
Walter McCaffrey, who represented Sunnyside and Woodside in the city council for almost two decades, has died. He was 64.
McCaffrey, who was suffering from complications from a recent car accident, died at Mount Sinai Hospital this morning.
McCaffrey, a Woodside resident, represented the 26th district from 1985 through 2001. In 2001, he was among the first city council members who lost their seats due to term limits.
“We have lost a champion and a good friend,” said Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, who had known McCaffrey for 35 years.
“His wit, humor and intelligence were unmatched,” Conley said, adding that “he was still very involved in the community right up to the end.”
Conley said that McCaffrey helped pass some landmark legislation while he was in the city council.
“Walter led the fight to make ATMs safer,” Conley said. “There were a lot of robberies and he was a champion of making sure they were well lit, had mirrors and cameras installed.”
Additionally, Conley said, he was at the forefront making sure that strip clubs were kept well away from residential buildings and schools through zoning.
McCaffrey served as chairman of Community Board 2 prior to being elected into office.
“Walter will be missed by many including myself and I thank him for his years of service and contributions to our neighborhoods,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement.
McCaffrey was married but separated from his wife. He did not have children.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff out of respect for McCaffrey throughout the five boroughs.
Funeral Arrangements for Honorable Walter L. McCaffrey
Wake: Sunday at Lynch’s Funeral Home 43-07 Queens Blvd
From: 2 – 5 and 7 – 9pm
Monday Mass at St. Sebastian’s at 58th Street and Roosevelt Ave at 11 am
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to
Sunnyside Community Services
43-31 39th Street Sunnyside, NY 11104 Phone 718 784 6173
Woodside On The Move
39-42 59th street,2nd floor #4,#5 Woodside, NY 11377
Sorry to hear that Walter McCaffrey pass away. Walter and my father are first cousin,He will be miss.He is in heaven with my father Harold Smith.
My God Be with them both.
It seems just a short time ago that I happened to encounter Walter again at Dazies Restaurant.
We first met in 1970 when we jointly worked on Arthur Goldberg’s unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign.
We met again in the late 1980’s when Walter was of great assistance to a group that had no immediate ability to help him politically and with which I was involved.
I refer to the Irish Immigration Reform Movement founded in 1987.
Walter’s great generosity of spirit was of tremendous assistance to us. The fact that a public official stepped forward to help us was a real morale builder.
Rest in Peace Walter.
I agree with all the comments. If you asked him a question he would answer it, not matter how lame it might be. In my opinion he was the greatest councilman. His life was too short.
RIP Walter, The peoples champion,a true warrior.
A was a wonderful councilman who always worked closely with his constituents. A great supporter of the Sunnyside Drum Corps helping the youth of the community with discretionary spending monies. May he
Rest in Peace!
He earned respect the old fashioned way, through honest hard work. God bless his soul.
He was a true friend and supporter. We will miss him very much.
A great loss to politics and our local areas.
..He was a gifted man and will be missed.
..Always a champion for his constituents ….
Sorry to hear the news. He was a wonderful civil servant for our communities. Very friendly gentleman, as well.
I had known Councilman McCaffrey for many years and he was a dedicated and true champion of the constituents of his district – may he R.I. P.