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In Memoriam: Henry F. Maraffa Jr.

Posted: October 19, 2016 at 9:17 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Montgomery County Central Committee, led by MCGOP Chairman Michael Higgs, joins the City of Gaithersburg this week in mourning the loss of City Councilmember Henry Marraffa, who died from cancer.

Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman commemorated the accomplishments of his friend and colleague by releasing a statement that praised Marraffa for his 20 years of service to his community, extended sympathy to his wife and family, and noted that his death was a tremendous loss for the city. “Henry served our community on the Board of Appeals, the Planning Commission, and for more than two decades as a member of the City Council,” said Mayor Ashman, adding that his devotion to raising the city’s profile resulted in “building Gaithersburg’s reputation and prominence on a national level, representing our city on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities, and at the state level with the Maryland Municipal League.”

As a local business owner, Marraffa’s greatest passion was economic development and creating a welcoming environment for companies.

In fact, there is a consensus that Gaithersburg’s success as an international biotechnology hub can be partly attributed to “Henry’s advocacy for development and permitting policies that made our City such an attractive location.”

“He was also passionate about innovative development, serving at a time when the concept of mixed use zoning was in its infancy. Dynamic communities such as Kentlands, Lakelands, Parklands, and Crown, with their mix of residential and commercial uses, blossomed in Gaithersburg with Henry playing an important role on a forward-looking City Council.

“Even when Henry was in the minority on an issue, his approach was civil and collegial – and it helped build a tradition that has kept our public discourse constructive and our city government productive,” noted Mayor Ashman.

“Henry’s type of passion and commitment is rare, and he will truly be missed, but he is leaving behind a powerful legacy. As his all-time favorite author, Louis L’Amour, wrote, ‘There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”

“On behalf of the Council, the staff, and the residents of Gaithersburg: may our Henry rest in peace, and may his memory be for a blessing.”

The city flag has been lowered to half-staff in memory of Marraffa, and information about a memorial service will be released shortly.