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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Remembering a Fierce Community Advocate: Doreen Roney

By Marina Kiriakou -


In the Village of Mamaroneck, many mourn the loss of one of its most dedicated champions, Doreen A. Roney, nee Poccia.  Born on February 8, 1957, Doreen's life was defined by love, passion, and an unwavering commitment to making her hometown better.


As a lifelong resident whose family had been in Mamaroneck for generations, Doreen had numerous cousins and other local relatives.  She joked that she had so many relatives here she couldn’t keep track of all of them.


While Doreen found solace in the simple pleasures of life - from tending her garden to savoring the tranquility of the beach, cooking for family and friends - her true calling lay in her tireless work to defend the environment, especially in Mamaroneck.  


Doreen was a fierce advocate for environmental preservation, particularly the protection of the Long Island Sound's vulnerable wetlands.  Her commitment to the Local Water Revitalization Program (LWRP) exemplified her activism to preserve Mamaroneck's waterfront for future generations.


Although Doreen wasn’t a lawyer her understanding and familiarity of the laws and the details of the building code was unmatched.  She once explained that she started this work as a teenager helping her father who was a long-time volunteer on various Village committees.


She served on the Village’s Harbor Coastal Zone Management Commission (HCZMC), where she fought to uphold the integrity of the local shoreline and keep development in check.  Doreen's advocacy and profound understanding of local history and land use made her a formidable force for change.  She fearlessly spoke out against injustice and misinformation, ensuring that proper processes were followed to protect our village and she was unafraid to speak up to those in power.  Her emails, peppered with citations to Village code, NYS law and any other authority she thought pertinent, were legendary.


Friends recall Doreen's proactive approach to effecting change.  She boldly reached out and made connections with agencies like the NY State Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Army Corps, and the NY Department of State, advocating for the steps necessary to achieve local goals.  Her dedication and determination earned her the respect and attention of influential figures who respected her for her vast knowledge and ability to navigate the intricacies of the various federal and state agencies.


Doreen is survived by her husband of over forty years, Charles Roney, her son, Charles Roney, Jr., and a large extended family who will deeply miss her presence.


Doreen was one of a kind and she will be sorely missed by her many friends, relatives and admirers here in the Village.  In her passing, Doreen leaves behind a legacy of courage, activism, and resilience - qualities that seemed to embody the spirit of our village.  Her life serves as a reminder of the profound impact that one individual can have on a community.


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