Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Anthony Cutrona, who served on the bench for 14 years, died on Jan. 16. He was 74.
Cutrona, who sat in the Brooklyn Supreme Court’s Mental Hygiene Part, began serving the last of three, two-year certificated terms on Jan. 1.
Elected to Brooklyn Supreme Court in 1998, his two primary assignments were presiding over the Mental Hygiene Part and a Guardianship Part.
Dennis Feld, deputy director for special litigation and appeals for Mental Hygiene Legal Service, Second Department, said that many of the agency’s attorneys practiced before Cutrona over the years.
“We found him to be a fair and responsive judge all the time. He was a gentleman at all times,” Feld said. “We’re very saddened by his passing.”
A lifelong Brooklyn resident and the only child of Italian immigrants, Cutrona graduated from New York Law School in 1966 and was admitted to the bar the following year.
He had a general law practice called DiCostanzo & Cutrona, and stayed in private practice until joining the bench in 1999.
Cutrona was appointed a member of the Appellate Division, Second Department’s Committee on Character and Fitness in 1990. In 1994, he was named by Rudolph Giuliani to the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary.
Cutrona was involved in various organizations throughout his career. In 1976, he was the president of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn, and remained active in coordinating the Italian-American bar group’s activities.
“Judge Cutrona was an inspiration and source of strength to everyone who had the pleasure to know and work with him, especially the members of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn,” said Steven Bamundo, a past president of the bar group. “Although he is rightly referred to as the ‘heart and soul’ of the association, he was much more than that. For over 40 years, he single-handedly changed the way attorneys of Italian-American heritage are perceived not only in Brooklyn, but in New York City, New York state, and the country.”
Cutrona also was a Brooklyn Bar Association vice president and trustee, along with being a founding member and president of the National Italian American Bar Association.
In 2003, Cutrona was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marianne; two daughters, Marianne Cutrona Ritz and Carol Anne Cutrona; a son, Michael; and five grandchildren.
A wake will be held Monday and Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at John J. McManus & Sons Funeral Home, 4601 Avenue N, Brooklyn.
A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 21 Sidney Pl., Brooklyn at 9:30 a.m. with burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery.
Donations in his honor may be sent to Brothers of the Christian Schools, 635 Ocean Rd., Narragansett, R.I., 02882.
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