You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Garfield school board member Kenneth Conte dies of COVID-19 complications

The Record, Bergen County logo The Record, Bergen County 4/24/2020 Katie Sobko, NorthJersey.com
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Dr. Kenneth Conte in 2011 © GEORGE MCNISH Dr. Kenneth Conte in 2011

GARFIELD – Longtime Board of Education member Kenneth Conte died of complications related to COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon, his longtime colleague and friend Tana Raymond said. He was 75.

Conte, a doctor with a family medicine practice in his native city, was first elected to the board in 1986 and previously served as board president.

He also spent eight years on the City Council from 1972 to 1980 and served as deputy mayor, City Manager Tom Duch said.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

“He was a true community person who spent his lifetime serving people, whether it was at his medical practice or in government and education,” Duch said. “He was a product of the city and he stayed here to serve the city.”

Raymond, a former mayor and an employee of Conte's for 35 years, called her former boss a good soul. He gave of himself and was always there to help in his medical practice, she said.

Raymond, who serves the district as nursing supervisor, remembers times when students without insurance fell ill but Conte would make sure to see them anyway, and not charge them.

“He was just full of compassion. He had such a big heart and just wanted to help people,” Raymond said.

Conte’s father was a board member before his son. Conte's brother Daniel was the school physician. During his time on the board, Conte was “always concerned about education,” Raymond said.

Loved and Lost: Nurse MaryBeth Papetti spent her life caring for others

Searchable list: NJ coronavirus cases listed by town for Bergen, Morris, Passaic and Essex counties

She remembers a time when he wanted to implement a beginner medical program to help high school students learn a foundation for careers as EMTs or medical professionals but he always wanted to make sure taxpayers could afford what the board was going to do, she said.

Conte had been hospitalized with the virus for about five weeks. Friends and family had advised him against seeing sick patients in his office when the outbreak first began but he was “very dedicated to his practice.”

Conte is on the ballot for next month’s mail-in only election.

Katie Sobko is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: sobko@northjersey.com  Twitter: @katesobko

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Garfield school board member Kenneth Conte dies of COVID-19 complications

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Record, Bergen County

The Record, Bergen County
The Record, Bergen County
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon