In memory of
Regina Palo Indefatigable advocate for the mentally ill, influential in improving conditions at Essex County Hospital, recognized widely by organizations in psychiatric and community service field, 88 Regina Palo (nee Costantino) of Claridge House 1 in Verona, N.J., passed away on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at the age of 88. Born and raised in Jersey City, N.J., by her parents Lena and John Costantino, Regina lived in Montclair, N.J., and West Orange, N.J., before moving to Verona six years ago. Regina, along with her husband, were the owners of Banc-Loc in Fairfield, N.J., for 20 years before she retired in 1998. Due to the illness of her son, Charles, she was a fierce advocate for the mentally ill. She joined the Essex Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, where she would eventually become a board member. Her decades with the alliance included positions as president and vice president. Regina's advocacy was relentless as she lobbied for years for improved conditions at the near century-old Essex County Hospital. Her efforts wound up at the doorstep of Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and through her persistence and his support, the hospital center was completed in 2006. Her contribution and leadership led to the naming of the library after her. Regina was the founder and president of Mount Vista, Inc., whose programs enhanced the quality of life for the seriously mentally challenged. Her many contributions and accomplishments were recognized as she was awarded the Marian Year Award from the Salvatorian Fathers (1988), the Citizen of the Year Award from the NJ Psychiatric Association (1991), "50 Women You Should Know" from the YWCA (1991), Essex County Hospital Center Volunteer Award (1991), Assembly Speakers' Award from the American Psychiatric Association (1991), the NJ Alliance for the Mentally Ill Volunteer Award (1995), and the Community Service Award from the Giblin Association (2002). Regina was also named "Italian American Woman of the Year" from the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders (2000) and was honored at the Grand Ball of the Essex County Mental Health Association in 2005. She also received Certificates of Appreciation from Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. (2002) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (2015). She was the beloved wife of the late Charles R. Palo, Sr.; devoted mother of Arlette Palo and the late Charles R. Palo, Jr., and loving sister of Grace DeFusco and the late Joseph Costantino. The visitation will be held at the LaMonica Memorial Home, 145 E. Mt. Pleasant Ave., Livingston, N.J., on Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 3 to 7 p.m. The funeral will commence at the funeral home on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in Our Lady of the Lake Church in Verona at 10:30 a.m. The interment will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover, N.J.
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