GLOVERSVILLE - Abraham V. Seroussi, a longtime city resident and former mayor, died Saturday at his home at the age of 74.
Seroussi was a successful leather merchant and businessman and served as Gloversville's mayor and finance commissioner. He also was a city school board vice president.
He was born in Khartoum, Sudan, and is a 1956 graduate of Gloversville High School. He also graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he received a bachelor's degree in science and economics.
Seroussi served as mayor from 1998 to 2001.
"This weekend, Gloversville lost a dedicated man who sought change for our community," Mayor Dayton King said on his Facebook page. "Abraham Seroussi ... fought a long battle with illness. He always wanted a better quality of life for our community. We mourn his passing and send condolences to his family from the citizens of Gloversville."
Frank Lauria Jr., now the city's 2nd Ward supervisor, was deputy mayor during Seroussi's first year. Lauria said Seroussi was good man and did positive things for the city.
"Abe was one of the ones that started the talks of revenue sharing with taxes and was always on the phone with [state Sen. Hugh] Farley's office asking for money for the city, and he was good at getting it," Lauria said. "He was a good family man that loved his children. He was a hard-working mayor that was determined to do good for the city.
"Every now and then, he would call around election time and we would talk on who we thought would and wouldn't get elected on the national and state levels. I know he will be deeply missed, by me especially."
Another city supervisor, Richard J. Ottalagano of the 6th Ward, said the late mayor helped influence him to take an interest in public office.
"I had the pleasure to support him during his run for mayor," Ottalagano said. "When I ran for office for the first time, he was the mayor, so I spent time with him and we exchanged advice and discussed our views on government.
"He wasn't really my mentor, but he was somebody that helped prepare me for office," Ottalagano said.
Ottalagano described Seroussi as down to earth.
He said Seroussi was a people person who was very honest and never talked down to anyone.
Levi Pascher can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.