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Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer Laid To Rest

Funeral services were held this morning for longtime Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer.

Dwyer was eulogized at St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph Church on Herrick Street as a mayor who worked to build a city residents could be proud of. A Democrat in office since 2006, Dwyer died last week at age 84 of cancer at Albany Medical Center.

Paul Goldman was Dwyer's attorney for the past 12 years.   "When I first met him, he brought me to his office and I thought I was gonna get fired and he says 'No, someone told me you're kinda smart,' so we became very close friends from that."

Goldman noted that Dwyer was a former Air Force pilot and longtime employee of Pan American Airways.   "You know he was there in the glory days with Pan Am, when they had the white suits and the white hats."

Under the city charter, Council President Richard Mooney was sworn in as mayor and will serve out Dwyer's remaining term.  Mooney served as a pallbearer. He praised Dwyer last week during a news conference at city hall.   “He had two loves. One love was his family and the other was the city of Rensselaer. When the mayor took over 13 years ago, we were a struggling city. He pulled us out.”

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Officials agree Dwyer's legacy will live on in the projects begun under his watch, including waterfront development, moving city hall to its present location and construction of the North End Fire House.

State Assemblyman John McDonald described Dwyer as "a class act."   "He loved being mayor, he loved serving the people. He took over the city at a tough time financially. Spent a good four years getting the house in order. And then realized that he had to work on that waterfront, and you know what? It's sad to see him go but it's good to see that the projects he started have continued and the citizens of this community were served very well by Dan."

Dwyer was buried with military honors at Holy Sephulcre Cemetery in East Greenbush. City Hall was closed Monday and flags lowered to half-staff.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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