L. Richard Mariani

Rick Mariani of Montclair, NJ, a senior official at the New Jersey Transit Corporation and a long time member of the Save Tillie Board of Directors, died suddenly on June 2, 2007 during a weekend getaway with close friends in Bethany Beach, Delaware.

In his day job at NJ Transit, Mariani, 55, rose through the ranks to become the system's Chief of Customer Resources and its first ever Customer Advocate.   He was an expert in the use of public transportation facilities as a key component in the rebuilding of urban communities.  In 2000, he coordinated the launch of new services including the popular Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, the Montclair-Boonton Line, the Newark Airport Rail Station, and the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction.   At age 24, he was the youngest person ever listed in "Who's Who in Government."

Rick was also an energetic activist in community-based organizations, serving on the Save Tillie Board, on the Board of Downtown New Jersey, and on the Board of Newark's Integrity House, Inc., an addictions treatment and recovery organization. 

"Rick's insights into NJ politics, the scope of his personal network, and his quick and creative mind were strengths that carried us through times both good and difficult," said Bob Crane, Save Tillie's president.   "His was a special kind of dedication, laced with humor and a belief that those who preserve history enrich the future for generations to come."

Born on March 13, 1952 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Syracuse University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1974, followed by a Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1976.

All who knew Rick know of his passion for singing, playing the guitar, attending some 200 Bruce Springsteen concerts, and religiously following the Syracuse basketball team.   He leaves behind a diverse community of friends and colleagues who loved him as a person with unbounded energy, charisma and integrity, and who made a positive difference in the lives of all those with whom he came into contact.