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Fort Lee Institution, Kay Nest, Dies At 90

Catherine "Kay" Nest
Catherine "Kay" Nest Photo Credit: COURTESY: Frank A> Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home

FORT LEE, N.J. -- For nearly a half-century, Catherine "Kay" Nest was one of the best-known and most-respected political figures not only in her adoptive Fort Lee hometown but throughout Bergen County.Nest died Saturday.

She was 90.

The only child of North Hudson political power couple Dominick and Felicia Santangelo, Nest lost her father at an early age.

Her mother was the registrar of vital statistics for West New York for 45 years and was extremely active in various charities and professional organizations.

Nest took her as her role model, according to an obituary posted by the Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home in Fort Lee.

After attending Fordham University, she married Richard A. Nest, a future partner in Deloitte, Touche, in 1950. They moved to Fort Lee in 1959 and immersed themselves in community service at the local and county levels.

"Dick" Nest became mayor, chairman of the borough Democratic Party and Parking Authority chairman.

He died suddenly in March 2000, and his widow was appointed charwoman of the party, the Parking Authority and the Housing Authority.

She volunteered for the Deborah Hospital Foundation, the Lions and Rotary clubs and UNICO.

Nest variously served as vice-chairwoman of the Bergen County Democratic Party and the Fort Lee Film Commission; chairwoman of the Fort Lee Senior Center; and board member of the Bergen County Housing Authority, NJ Casino Commission and the Board of Governors of Palisades General Hospital.

"All of the members of the Fort Lee Film Commission express our condolences and sympathy to all her family and friends," the commission wrote in a Facebook post Saturday evening.

Nest is survived by her son, Richard.

A celebration of life is set for 3-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Patti & Mikatarian funeral home, 327 Main St., opposite the public library.

The funeral procession will leave at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday for a Mass of Resurrection in the Main Madonna RCC at 11 a.m. followed by entombment in Madonna Mausoleum.

The family asks that donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center.

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