BOONTON — State Senator Anthony R. Bucco, a widely respected Morris County Republican who served in New Jersey politics for decades, has died at age 81.
According to NJ.com, Bucco suffered “a major heart attack” Monday morning and “passed away peacefully” in the evening with his family by his side at Saint Clare’s Hospital, Denville.
Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce said “The passing of my dear friend Senator Tony Bucco is heartbreaking. He was an invaluable source of friendship and wisdom for me and my late husband, Alex. New Jersey has lost a wonderful leader, and the Bucco family has lost a loving grandfather, father and husband. God Bless you, Tony!”
Boonton Alderman Candidate Joseph Bock said “Tonight I am very sad to hear of the passing of a great friend and mentor, Senator Tony Bucco. It was a true blessing having him as a mentor since my childhood years. After finishing my education and returning home I sought to emulate the way that he cared for and led our community. It meant the world to me that he supported all of my political and professional endeavors. I will miss you my friend.”
“For 41 years, Anthony Bucco, Sr., served the people of Morris County and the State of New Jersey at all levels, from the Boonton Council to the State Senate. He took on issues small and large, including one of his last laws, to ensure that schoolchildren learned ways to prevent and escape sexual abuse, a bill I was proud to sign just two months ago. A dedicated public servant and successful businessman, Senator Bucco brought a perspective and commitment to his work that elevated our public discourse. Tammy and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator Bucco’s wife of six decades, Helen Jayne; his son, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, who now holds the Assembly seat his father once occupied; his family; former colleagues; and friends,” said Governor Phil Murphy.
Bucco has represented the 25th legislative district — which includes parts of Morris and Somerset counties — since 1995. He first served in the state Assembly and moved up to the Senate in 1998.
Bucco, a longtime Boonton resident, was previously an Boonton Alderman from 1978 to 1983 83, Mayor from 1984 to 1989, and a Morris County Freeholder from 1989 to 1992.
Bucco is survived by his wife, Helen, his son, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.