PARSIPPANY — Marceil “Mimi” Letts, 80, a Democrat who served as Mayor of Parsippany-Troy Hills from 1994 to 2005, passed away on Sunday, September 15.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano ordered all flags in the township to fly at half mast for the remainder of the week in honor of our beloved and departed Mayor. You will always be in our hearts Mimi Letts.
“Mimi Letts was an amazing leader, mentor, and friend,” wrote Mayor Soriano, “Her contribution to Parsippany was significant and she will be missed. Our deepest condolences to Howard and their family.”
“Mimi Letts was a trailblazer and a champion of having more women engaged in politics in New Jersey. When I announced my run for Congress, she enthusiastically supported me, as she did for so many other women who wanted to step up and serve their communities. Mimi’s commitment to advocacy and to the residents of Parsippany continued even after leaving the mayor’s office. My deepest condolences to her family and the entire Parsippany community,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill.
Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce said “I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mayor Mimi Letts. She dedicated her life to the people of Parsippany, and she will be missed.”
Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Vice President Janice McCarthy said “Mimi Letts, the first female mayor of the township, who made a significant contribution to welfare of the town and its residents with a legacy of community service. Even when she decided to leave office she continued to contribute. In fact most recently she supported and was instrumental in the effort to pass the plastic bag ban. Mimi was thoughtful, energetic, enthusiastic, caring and kind. But for all the things she was loving wife, mother, community leader the most important thing to me was that she was my friend and I will miss my friend.”
“Mayor Letts was always very pleasant and someone I have the utmost respect for,” said Council President Paul Carifi, Jr.
“I have sincerely appreciated Mimi’s insight, pragmatism and support. She will be dearly missed by this community,” Councilwoman Emily Peterson.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Candidate Judy Hernandez said “We’ve lost a great friend. She was a very special woman. My condolences to Howard and all her family.”
“I’m so very sorry to hear this! I love Mimi so very much- a real trailblazer and wonderful women,” said Morristown’s First Lady Mary Dougherty.
Parsippany resident David Comora said “I am so sorry to hear this news. What an amazing woman and leader. She had a tremendous positive influence on our town and on so many of our town’s residents. She encouraged folks to get involved and I am a better person because I knew her.”
“I worked with Mayor Letts for her term as Mayor and came to greatly admire her as Mayor and, eventually, a friend. I am very saddened by her passing and offer my heartfelt condolences to her family,” Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Chief Michael Filippello Sr.
Letts won a 1994 special election after Republican Frank Priore was convicted on federal bribery and racketeering charges.
Letts declined to run for a fourth term, leaving office in 2005. But she continued her public service, staying active in politics, frequently attending meetings with her husband, Howard.
Mimi was born in Pittsburgh in 1939, one of five children of Cecelia and Robert Fleming. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1961 with a major in mathematics and went into the computer industry, working for the computer division of RCA where she met her husband, Howard. They were married in 1963 and three sons Howard, Robert and Eric.
Mimi and Howard lived in Pittsburgh, then Maryland and in 1967 came to Parsippany where Mimi became active in local activities. She served on the township Planning Board, was President of the Board of Directors of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Senior Citizen Housing Corp. (which built and manages the Brookside Senior Complex), served on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and was a member of the of the Parsippany Historical Society and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany. In addition, she was a member of the NJ Highlands Council and Morris Township.
Mimi continued her career in technology once her children were in school, designing and implementing large scale computer applications for major corporations.
She ran unsuccessfully in 1985 for Parsippany town council and in 1993 for mayor. She was elected Mayor of Parsippany in 1994 and served until she retired at the end of 2005.
Mrs. Letts is survived by her husband of 56 years Howard, her sons Howard of Charleston SC, Robert and his wife Kim of Marietta GA, Eric and his wife Allissa of Jupiter FL and seven grandchildren, Diana, Victoria, Abigail, Zachary, David, Alexander and Rebecca. She is also survived by her brother David Fleming of Cocoa Beach FL, sisters Patricia Cohick of Williamsport, PA and Kathleen Loriso of Clinton PA.
Relative and friends are invited to attend her Liturgy of Christian burial 9:30 a.m. Thursday September 19, at St. Christopher R.C. Church 1050 Littleton Road, Parsippany.
Entombment: Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Par-Troy Funeral Home, 95 Parsippany Road, Parsippany.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in her memory to Parsippany Child Day Care Center 300 Baldwin Road, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054.