Nov. 26, 2018 By Meghan Sackman
The funeral for State Sen. Jose Peralta will be held Tuesday in Jackson Heights, as local leaders and residents continue to grieve following his sudden death last week.
Peralta died Wednesday at Elmhurst Hospital at the age of 47 while seeking treatment as a result of a fever. The exact cause of his unexpected death has yet to be determined.
The funeral for Peralta, who has represented Jackson Heights and its surrounding areas in Albany since 2003, will be held at St. Joan of Arc’s Roman Catholic Church at 82-00 35th Ave. at 10:30 a.m.
Immediately following the funeral, Peralta will be buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery at 72-02 Astoria Blvd in East Elmhurst.
Tributes have been pouring in for Peralta since his death.
“Senator Peralta was a tireless advocate for Queens and for all New Yorkers, including our immigrant communities,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement Friday, while ordering flags be flown at half-staff in Peralta’s honor.
Community members gathered in front of Peralta’s office in East Elmhurst Sunday and held a prayer vigil. Many carried candles and placed flowers by his 32-37 Junction Blvd. district office.
Mourners gathered this afternoon for Peralta’s wake at Farenga Funeral Home on Ditmars Boulevard, by 38th Street, in Astoria.
Over the weekend, his staff set up a GoFundMe page to help the late senator’s family cover the funeral costs. The donation page exceeded its goal of $25,000, with a total of nearly $55,000 by this afternoon.
More than 145 people donated, including a $10,000 donation from Governor Cuomo.
Efforts are being made by local officials to keep Peralta’s legacy going–including naming the DREAM Act after him should it be passed into law.
Peralta, the first Dominican-American elected to the state senate, was the senate sponsor of the DREAM Act which would provide undocumented immigrants with access to financial aid for college.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat, who represents upper Manhattan and a section of the Bronx, wrote to Cuomo about naming it in Peralta’s honor.
Peralta represented the 39th Assembly District from 2003 to 2010 before being elected to the state senate in a special election in 2010.
He only had weeks to go in office, having been defeated in the Democratic primary in September by Jessica Ramos.
Ramos went on to win his seat earlier this month.