Community members, first responders, civic leaders and elected officials gathered at the Sound Beach Veterans Memorial on Saturday, Oct. 22, in celebration of the life of Ann Moran.
She was born in Rockville Centre Jan. 14, 1943, and died on June 30 at age 79. Throughout her life she remained active in Sound Beach and the Rocky Point school district. Moran seemed to have made a lasting impression on those who knew her, whether as an educator, a teachers union president, a volunteer or a civic leader.
Dozens attended the memorial event, which featured the dedication of a bird bath at the park’s edge, a permanent marker honoring her lasting legacy of service to the community.
Sound Beach Civic Association, where Moran was longtime treasurer, hosted the event. Bea Ruberto, president of the civic, told a tale of the memories she shared with Moran over the decades they worked together.
The civic president commented on the picturesque weather of the early afternoon: “Who doesn’t believe that Ann had something to do with this beautiful day?”
Ruberto described Moran as “a force” whose abundant energy was devoted tirelessly to the betterment of her community. For this reason, the memorial celebration included several perspectives on her life.
“There is no one voice that can speak to how important Ann was to all of us, so a number of people are going to speak to that,” Ruberto said.
Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) spoke of Moran’s contagious effect on her peers. “When one person touches another and inspires and encourages them to do good things in their community and good things to other people, it’s like a ripple in a pool, and it just keeps going,” the county legislator said. “Ann always seemed to start this ripple, and she will continue because we are here today celebrating her legacy.”
Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) was also in attendance. She spoke of Moran’s professionalism and ability to keep a civil dialogue in the face of contention.
“Ann was just cool, calm and collected,” Bonner said. “Even though we had opposite political philosophies, [we had] very respectful conversations, interesting conversations about life in general.” The councilwoman added, “She was a dynamo, a tiny, mighty person that never took ‘no’ for an answer.”
Following her remarks, Bonner delivered a special announcement. “Very few individuals get two days in the Town of Brookhaven, but today has been declared Ann Moran Day.” The other day in Moran’s honor is Sept. 12.
Susan Sullivan, a trustee of the Rocky Point school district board of education, described Moran’s impact as the district’s teachers union president. According to her, Moran led the union with a steady hand, representing the teachers firmly and holding her ground when necessary.
“She was a woman ahead of her time,” Sullivan said. “I was impressed by her strength, confidence and assertiveness — she stood down to no one.” Sullivan added, “She was respected by the administration, teachers, and [school-related professionals], which is a tribute to her ability to work respectfully with everyone.”
‘I was impressed by her strength, confidence and assertiveness — she stood down to no one.’
— Susan Sullivan
Moran served four terms as president of the Sound Beach Fire Department Auxiliary. Nancy Ford, trustee of the auxiliary, discussed Moran’s nearly three decades of contribution to this institution.
“She was a loyal member of our organization for 28 years,” Ford said. “As was her mission, she raised her hand to help with all of our events.” The auxiliary trustee added, “She worked on Military Bridge, getting donations for the fire department’s steak dinners, fire department anniversary celebrations, [which] were just some of the many ways that Ann helped out.”
Sound Beach civic member Ernestine Franco knew Moran for around 15 years. During that time, the two cultivated a close friendship. Responding to the turnout of the memorial celebration, Franco said Moran would have been delighted.
“I think she would have loved this today,” Franco said. Following Moran’s selflessness and commitment to service, however, Franco added, “There is only one thing she would have loved better: If she could be standing here and we could be honoring somebody else.”
Last to speak was Moran’s son, Joseph Russo. He told an endearing personal anecdote epitomizing the bond the two shared. Russo then thanked those who attended, honoring his mother’s legacy.
“I just want to thank you all for coming today on a nice, sunny day,” he said. He concluded, “Thank you, Mom.”