DEAN A. GALLO, 58, N.J. CONGRESSMAN: - November 7, 1994
U.S. Rep. Dean A. Gallo, a five-term Republican from Morris County, died yesterday at age 58.
Rep. Gallo died just before noon at St. Clares-Riverside Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, his spokesman Robert LeGrand announced.
Rep. Gallo had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1992. He announced he would not run for a sixth term on Aug. 23 of this year. LeGrand said at the time that the congressman had suffered a relapse requiring "aggressive treatment."
Assemblyman Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Morris County Republican, took Rep. Gallo's place on the ballot for the 1994 election. Frelinghuysen suspended campaigning yesterday, saying it was time to grieve, not campaign.
"I am deeply, deeply saddened by this tragic news," Frelinghuysen said. ''Dean has been a mentor and friend for over 25 years. I will miss him greatly."
Rep. Gallo first won election to Congress in 1984, unseating Democratic incumbent Joseph Minish. He represented the 11th Congressional District, one of the wealthiest in the country, encompassing all of Morris County and parts of Essex, Sussex and Somerset Counties, and Bloomingdale in Passaic County.
As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Rep. Gallo was helpful in shepherding through many New Jersey projects, including the authorization of a $1.9 billion Passaic Basin flood control project.
Gov. Whitman has not endorsed the project, and the U.S. Corps of Engineers has it on hold pending the governor's decision.
Although a fiscal conservative, Rep. Gallo was a strong proponent of environmental causes, taking to the House floor to insist on a vote on mandating double-hulled oil tankers after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. The bill passed. He also was influential in pushing through a ban on sludge dumping in the ocean, which went into effect in December 1991, and voted for the Clean Air Act.
Rep. H. James Saxton of Burlington County, who was elected to the state Assembly and to the U.S. House of Representatives with Rep. Gallo, called Rep. Gallo one of his closest friends.
"He will be missed by his friends very much. He was highly respected for the wonderful job he did in representing his district. It will be a loss to me personally," Saxton said.
Born in Hackensack, Rep. Gallo attended grade school in Parsippany-Troy
Hills, and high school in Boonton. He was president of Gallo & DeCroce, a Parsippany real estate firm.
He served as president of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council from 1968 to 1971, when he was elected a Morris County freeholder. He served as freeholder director from 1973 to 1975.
Rep. Gallo was elected to the General Assembly in 1975 and was re-elected four times. He became minority leader in January 1982 and held that post until he resigned in December 1984 to enter Congress.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Schmidt, whom he married in September while undergoing treatment at St. Clares; a daughter, Susan; a son, Robert; a stepson, Christopher Schmidt; and a sister, Debbie Sanders.
A viewing will be held at the Par-Troy Funeral Home in Parsippany tomorrow and Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. on both days. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at the Jacksonville Chapel in Lincoln Park, followed by a private burial.
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