Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Wake Held for Former State Senator Catherine Abate

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Family and friends paused to remember former State Senator Catherine Abate at a wake on Manhattan's Upper East Side Wednesday.

Abate passed away Saturday night at after battling uterine cancer.

She represented parts of Manhattan in the State Senate from 1994 to 1998, before running for state attorney general.

Abate also served as commissioner of both the city departments of Correction and Probation under former Mayor David Dinkins.

Friends say she was a fearless advocate of health care and criminal justice issues throughout her career.

"Because she figured correctly that if she supported and improved the lives of the families of prisoners, then when they came out—and they do come out of jail—that they would be not returning to jail. So she figured out how to improve the waiting rooms; she figured out how to talk to them on the bus when they came to Rikers Island and she did things that nobody had ever done before," said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

"She was dedicated to providing healthcare, but with quality and humility," said Abate's friend, Yvonne Stenech.

Abate was 66 years old.

She is survived by her husband and son.

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