Galena said goodbye to former mayor Harry J. Pisapia today at services at St. Dennis Catholic Church. He died on August 4 at the age of 75. Harry had just completed a final four-year council term in June, also serving as vice-mayor. Harry was a great Galena cheerleader, where he raised his family with his late wife Caroline and ran his Nationwide insurance agency.
He was active in all parts of the community’s life even before joining the town council and serving as mayor from 1992-2013. He would return to the council two years later and serve his final term.
“Harry put his heart and soul into the Town of Galena,” remarked current mayor John Carroll, who first met the late mayor over a decade ago when he moved to the town where he operates several businesses. Pointing not only to the nuts and bolts of running the town, but spearheading important community events such as the annual September 11 Remembrance program.
Carroll said that Pisapia was much more than Galena. He was a past-president of the Maryland Municipal League, the lobbying arm of municipal governments.
“He put real time in to making sure that the interests of the ‘tiny towns’ were protected and promoted,” referencing the power struggle between the interests of big city members, such as Salisbury or Annapolis, and the towns with populations under 1000 that represent 75 percent of the MML membership.
“I butted heads with Harry often, but in the end we always worked together to find acceptable compromise,” Carroll remembered. “And even if we weren’t happy with the compromise, we remained friends and bonded. I will miss his advice and friendship.”
The Town will dedicate this year’s September 11 Remembrance and annual Veteran’s Day programs to Harry Pisapia.