Councilwoman Jo Falcone Passes Away

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WPCNR MILESTONES. From the McMahon, Lyon & Hartnett Funeral Home. January 10, 2021:

Jo was a unique force of nature…Flags will be flown in White Plains at half mast. If this was non-COVID times, there would be more than 1,000 people at her funeral. She was JO FALCONE” read a private message from White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach to the family.

On January 5, 2022, Josephine (“Jo”) M. Falcone passed away in her beloved hometown of White Plains, New York.

Jo Falcone was a straight shooting, powerhouse of a woman. A fierce advocate for the underdog and a trailblazer for women, she touched the lives of so many in and around her community. Her love language was food, and she made the best chicken cutlets either side of the Mississippi (this is not up for debate). Jo made everyone feel at home. Whether you were a kid from out of town needing a place to stay for the Loucks Track Meet, the 40th girl asking to join her already-full Girl Scout troop, or just someone in need of a family to spend a holiday with, Jo could not say no.

She was born March 26, 1937 in White Plains, New York to Angelina Barilla and Sylvester (Sal) Dell’Orletta. She is preceded in death by both parents, her brothers Nicky and Dominic, as well as her husband Joseph L. Falcone. Joe and Jo met while working at a department store. After a whirlwind romance, they wed on September 21, 1958, and remained married for over 60 years.

As Angela Davis quotes “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept.” This was Jo’s motto. She refused to sit still. She was one of the first two female Rotarians worldwide, becoming President of the White Plains chapter in 2004. She was inducted into both the Westchester County Senior Citizens and WPHS Hall of Fames, served on both the Common Council and as President of the WPHS PTA, elected to two terms on the Board of Education, a member of the Glenn D. Loucks Track & Field Committee, and Tiger Fans Committee. At a PTA meeting Jo once said “If I didn’t do everything, I would have to stay home and do laundry and housework.” Do EVERYTHING, she did.

Along with her philanthropy and unrelenting service to her community, Jo was also the star of her own show. She taught tap dance, played the piano, frequented hundreds of Broadway plays, visited 48 of the 50 states, and glided across every dance floor in the arms of her beloved husband. Art and travel made Jo come alive. She served as the director of the WPHS Bengalettes and Tigerettes dance teams and hosted two local TV shows.

Of all of her achievements, accolades, and pursuits, nothing made her happier than sitting around a crowded dinner table with her kids and grandkids. Family was truly everything to Jo Falcone. She is survived by her children AnnaMarie Norris of White Plains, New York, Joseph A. Falcone of Basalt, Colorado, Michael Falcone of White Plains, New York, and Linda Chemaly of Rocklin, California; son in laws Charles Norris and Robert Chemaly and her ten grandchildren: Nicole, Ben, Brianna, Alexa, Michael, RJ, Michael Gene, Kyle, Christopher and Danielle.

Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ was Jo’s favorite song and as all can attest who knew her, tirelessly and with little need for recognition, she certainly did it her way.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that you make donations to the following charities near and dear to Jo’s heart: Glenn D. Loucks Memorial Track and Field Games Inc.,
The Friends of White Plains Public Library,
The Rotary Club of White Plains
The Thomas H. Slater Center

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