Mary Ita Dwyer, retired teacher, N. Hempstead Dem leader dies at 88

Mary Ita Dwyer, retired teacher, N. Hempstead Dem leader dies at 88

Former East Williston teacher Mary Ita Dwyer died on Oct. 19 in Greenport, according to the Weigand Brothers Funeral Home. She was 88.

Dwyer was a retired East Williston School District Teacher and served as the head of the North Hempstead Democratic Party in the 1980s.

Dwyer’s husband, Thomas W. Dwyer, served as a county district court judge for 14 years, winning his seat on the bench in 1986 as the sole Democrat elected. Thomas W. died away in 2000 and the two were married for 42 years, according to the Shelter Island Reporter

Dwyer’s son, Thomas, is a former North Hempstead councilman. He was originally appointed to fill a vacancy in 2002 representing the 2nd District before resigning in 2013 as he was preparing to take a consulting job that would leave him too little time for his town board duties. 

The child of Irish immigrants, Dwyer was born in Manhattan and went on to graduate from St. Joseph’s College in 1955, according to the Shelter Island Reporter. 

She was a teacher at East Williston’s North Side School where she was vice president of the teacher’s union before retiring in 2000, according to the paper.

After moving to Shelter Island in 2001, Dwyer worked organizing and strengthening the Democratic Party on the island and also launched a writing program 2 Rs 4 Fun, which paired third and fourth graders with senior mentors to improve literacy, according to the Reporter. 

Dwyer’s wake was held at the Weigand Brothers Funeral Home on Sunday, Oct. 23. Her funeral was held at St. Aidan’s in Williston Park. 

Dwyer is survived by six children and 13 grandchildren.

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