Flower Hill mayor McNamara dies at 76

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Flower Hill Mayor Robert McNamara has died at 76. (Photo courtesy of the McNamara family)

Robert McNamara, the mayor of the Village of Flower Hill, has died, according to a statement released by the village.

McNamara, 76, died Wednesday, according to Village Clerk Ronnie Shatzkamer. The cause of death was not COVID-19-related, according to his family.

The mayor, who was born in Munsey Park, first moved to Flower Hill’s Manhasset section 35 years ago before moving to its Port Washington area recently.

Prior to his work in public service, McNamara had a career in the credit card industry, working with Citibank and First Data Resource, and as a consultant.

He was first elected a trustee in 2011 and began serving as Deputy Mayor in 2013 under former Mayor Elaine Phillips, also serving on the village’s Finance Committee. When Phillips was elected to the New York State Senate in 2016, McNamara assumed office.

Under McNamara’s tutelage, the village oversaw an increase in construction and instituted a building impact fee. His board also rejected proposed plans for cell towers from ExteNet Systems last year. Weeks before his death, he worked with colleagues on the Finance Committee to finalize the village’s 2020-21 budget, which was approved by the board

“The Mayor’s accomplishments large and small will be realized for decades to come,” the village said in a statement.

McNamara had been re-elected as mayor in 2018. For the 2020 elections, he was stepping down as mayor and running as a trustee with the Flower Hill Party. No additions to the ballot have been announced.

Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington, who worked alongside McNamara for five years, two as a trustee, said in a statement that the community had lost a “dear friend” and advocate.

“Bob was an exceptional and respected man who was dedicated to our village up until the very end,” Herrington said. “He touched so many lives throughout our community. He always made himself available and could frequently be found driving around ‘just checking things out as he liked to say. He touched the hearts of so many and will be missed by all.”

McNamara is survived by his wife Virginia, whom he married in 1971; their three children, Susan, Keith and Tim; his sister Patricia Grandison, and many cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends.

A virtual funeral mass for the family was held on April 17 at the Holy Rosary Church in Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland conducted by the Rev. Gerard Tyrell in celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his name be made to the St. Francis Hospital Foundation,100 Port Washington Blvd.Roslyn N.Y. 11576

The village says that after they will be working with the McNamara family on a community celebration of the mayor’s life after the coronavirus pandemic. 

“You can just be a mayor or you can be the mayor,” Herrington said. “Bob was always the mayor.”

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