By Sabina Mollot
Gramercy Park resident Audrey Sisson Kasha, 88, died on June 12, a month after suffering a severe stroke.
Kasha was for many years involved in her community, having been the one to suggest the formation of the Gramercy Park Block Association in 1993.
This was after another resident, Tim Harrison, was beaten by a roving gang on the street. The association, run by Tim’s mother Arlene Harrison, was formed the next year and has remained devoted to local safety and quality of life ever since. Meanwhile, Kasha also served as one Gramercy Park’s trustees, including for some time as its counsel.
Arlene Harrison said she’ll remember Kasha for her dedication and her skills as a writer and editor for much of the trustees’ and block association’s literature.
“Just when we thought our writing was in perfect shape for Audrey to review, she would find at least 15 errors,” Harrison said.
She was also a founding member of the Tilden Democratic Club, which she was very active in, both in going to meetings and petitioning.
Until her retirement over 25 years ago, Kasha, a resident of 60 Gramercy Park North, served as chief of staff for the now-deceased Democratic Assemblyman William Passanante, who represented the Greenwich Village area.
Harrison noted that Kasha was often referred to as Passanante’s “brains” by the Assemblymember himself and that they remained good friends for decades.
Kasha was also known for throwing dinner parties, where guests raved over her cooking, and for being an avid church-goer at Calvary. She also met frequently with a group of people, who, like her, had involvement in politics, called The Schleppers.
Kasha had a grown son, Matthew, who worked in the music industry, and died in 2005. She is also predeceased by her sisters Gloria and Maxine. Kasha has one remaining sibling, her brother Peter Kasha, whose five-year-old son Ethan and wife Zena Kasha was very close with.
She was buried last week in Warwick, New Jersey with a small service for family members. On June 30 at 6 p.m., there will be a public memorial service held at Calvary Church, located at 277 Park Avenue South and 21st Street. Reverend Jacob Smith will be officiating.