Catherine McAlevey

June 12, 1955 - April 13, 2013

ALBANY - Catherine Benincasa McAlevey, beloved partner, sister, daughter, friend and devoted horse racing aficionado, passed away Saturday, April 13, 2013, in Albany, N.Y., after a brave battle with breast cancer. She spent her last days surrounded by family and friends, who had arrived from as far away as California, Florida and Sweden.

A resident of Saratoga and Greenwich Village, N.Y., Catherine McAlevey was raised in a family of activists and community builders. She was passionate about government - she was determined to show that any government could work with savvy management.

Before retirement in 2010, Ms. McAlevey served as deputy commissioner of operations for New York City's Human Resources Administration's Department of Social Services. There, she oversaw a staff of more than 5,000 located in 35 job centers and food stamp offices in all five boroughs, serving more than 1.7 million clients. She reorganized the department by instituting up-to-date processes and technology to streamline the distribution of benefits for those in need.

For 12 years prior, she served as a senior policy adviser to New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone as director of the New York City Office of Oversight and Investigation, where she oversaw for the council all relevant investigations into city operations. She began at the Oversight and Investigation Office in 1990 as deputy director and counsel.

Before, she had a distinguished career as an assistant district attorney in Rockland County, N.Y.

A 1980 graduate of Benjamin Cardozo Law School, Ms. McAlevey, known to friends and family as "Cats," discovered her interest in law and administration at an early age, helping her father through numerous campaigns as a Rockland County supervisor and mayor of Sloatsburg, N.Y.

Born June 12, 1955, in New York City, Ms. McAlevey was raised in the village of Sloatsburg. She attended Sacred Heart School, Suffern High School, Buffalo State University and State University of New York at Stonybrook.

In 1995, Ms. McAlevey's life changed forever when she fell in love with her life partner, Debra Hall. Sharing a passion for thoroughbred racing, city government, their extended families and the rich cultural offerings of New York, Catherine and Debra had recently retired, planning to enjoy the rest of their days together traveling the world and enjoying the pleasures of life in upstate New York and New York City.

In addition to Debra Hall, Ms. McAlevey is survived by her father and stepmother, John F. and Marlene McAlevey of New York; her aunt, Sister Mary Janetta of Brooklyn; two sisters, Birgitta B. McAlevey of Sharon, Mass., and Jane McAlevey of San Francisco, Calif.; four brothers, Peter C. McAlevey of Los Angeles, Calif., Benedict McAlevey of Jupiter, Fla., John B. McAlevey of Buffalo and Thomas M. McAlevey of Stockholm, Sweden; two stepbrothers, Mitchell J. Rotbert of Rockville, Md., and Clifford A. Rotbert of New York; as well as 17 nieces and nephews.

A funeral was held at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2013, at St. Joseph's Church at 371 Avenue of the Americas at Washington Place in Greenwich Village, N.Y.

A private burial is being planned.

Arrangements with Greenwich Village Funeral Home, 199 Bleeker St., New York, NY 10012, and Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers, or call them at (607) 547-8822.