Gone too soon: Bay Ridge mourns community leader Kevin Peter Carroll

This story has been updated to include visitation and funeral arrangements.

Bay Ridge has lost a shining light within the community with the passing of former Democratic District Leader Kevin Peter Carroll, who died on Monday, June 3 at the age of 33.

Carroll served as Democratic district leader in the 64th Assembly District, which takes in parts of Bay Ridge and Staten Island, from 2010 to 2018. He won the seat after a hard-fought battle against Ralph Perfetto, who previously held the position for 18 years, and who succeeded Carroll when he left the post.

In 2017, Carroll was one of the candidates in a crowded Democratic primary field looking to succeed term-limited Councilmember Vincent Gentile in the 43rd City Council District. Carroll lost the primary to Justin Brannan who ultimately won the general election. It was during the primary race that Carroll was devastated by the death of his beloved mother Dorothy Carroll on Sept. 8, just days before the hotly contested primary on Sept. 12.

In 2018, Carroll announced that he would not run for reelection as district leader for what he said were personal reasons. At the time, he said that his life had been shaken by the loss of his mother and that he needed some time to focus on himself.

Politics runs in Carroll’s family. His cousin Robert Carroll is the assemblymember representing the 44th Assembly District which covers Park Slope, Kensington and Windsor Terrace. His uncle Jack Carroll ran in 2001 for the City Council but lost to now-Mayor Bill de Blasio for the seat in the 39th C.D.

Carroll was born and raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Fort Hamilton High School. He took pride in being a spokesperson and advocate for his community. He was a member of Community Board 10, the Irish American Parade Committee and the Bay Ridge Historical Society, as well as being a member of other community-based organizations.

Carroll also served as president of Brooklyn Democrats for Change, an independent political club founded in 2004 by longtime Bay Ridge Democratic activist Joanne Seminara.

“Kevin was a dear friend and a great community partner through the years,” Ilene Sacco told this paper. Sacco was formerly president of both the Bay Ridge Community Council and the 68th Precinct Community Council, which she also served on with Carroll.

“Although he was just a young man, he was an old soul deep inside,” Sacco went on.  “I hope his passing will remind others how precious life is, how important friends and family are, and how quickly things can change.”

Sacco broke the news of Carroll’s death on social media, writing, “It is with terrible sadness to let everyone know that Kevin Peter Carroll has passed away. I received a call from his heartbroken sister. Please everyone say a prayer for his family tonight.”

Brannan said that he was shocked and saddened to hear the news. “Politics was in his DNA and he got involved in community activism from a very early age,” Brannan posted on Facebook.

“He was proud of his Irish heritage and especially a champion for Bay Ridge seniors,” Brannan said. “He loved his community very much. May he rest in peace and may the Carroll family find comfort during this incredibly difficult time.”

Even political rivals from across the aisle had only praise for Carroll.

“Very sad to hear that Kevin Peter Carroll who served as Brooklyn Democratic district leader in my district passed away at 33,” tweeted Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis. “He had a great passion for politics and community. I enjoyed working with him where we found common ground. We had a nice relationship. May he rest in peace.”

Republican Community Leader Liam McCabe also offered his condolences on Facebook. “You were a champion of your community, a loving son and a proud political activist. I will miss you as a friend and our neighborhood will surely miss the great advocacy you brought to local and national issues alike. . . You truly had the ‘fire in the belly’ of a real political warrior. That fire has been passed to so many of the people you touched.”

The wake will be held at Clavin’s Funeral Home, 7722 Fourth Avenue, on Friday, June 21 from 3-8 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Christ, 245 Prospect Park West, at 11:15 a.m.

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