By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
New Albany City Controller Mary Ann Prestigiacomo died Sunday after apparently suffering a heart attack.
She was just 47 years old, and had spent the last 18 months as the city controller after being hired by Mayor Jeff Gahan when he took office in 2008.
“I am unable to fully express my disbelief and emotions regarding Mary Ann’s passing,” Gahan stated in a news release on Monday.
“Mary Ann was an important and integral adviser of my administration. She undertook a difficult job and improved the financial strength of the city every month. She will be deeply missed.”
Prestigiacomo was the daughter of Kay Garry, who also served as city controller for several years including most recently under Mayor Doug England from 2008 through 2011.
Prestigiacomo graduated from Our Lady of Providence High School in 1984, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a law degree from the University of Louisville.
Her primary duty as city controller was to oversee financial transactions. She worked with department heads and other administrative staff to prepare annual budgets and reported financial numbers to the New Albany City Council.
“Whenever I would have any occasion to talk with her about anything, she was always helpful and patient because that’s not my strong suit — dealing with budget issues,” Councilman John Gonder said Monday.
Gahan credited Prestigiacomo for helping ensure department spending stayed within the budget. Last year, the city held to its budget for the first time in a decade.
Council President Pat McLaughlin said he was “stunned” by the news.
“To me, it’s a completely tragic thing,” he said. “You get to know somebody over a year and a half. I found her to be very accommodating.”
Prestigiacomo was hired as a contractual employee in the controller’s office in 2010 prior to accepting the full-time position two years later.
She also practiced as an attorney locally from 1993 to 2011.
Her passing marks the second city employee death in less than two months. In May, Concentrated Code Enforcement Officer Tim Teives died at the age of 60.
Prestigiacomo is survived by her husband, Joe Prestigiacomo, and her teenage sons Justin and Joe.
Visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Kraft Funeral Service, which is located at 708 E. Spring St. in New Albany.
Prestigiacomo’s funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Holy Family Catholic Church, with burial to follow in Kraft-Graceland Memorial Park.