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Former Mayor Annabelle Kriegel Helped Make Warren Special

Thursday services for longtime local leader.

If you like what Warren is today, you can thank a handful of people who were instrumental in forging township development in the 1970s and 1980s—including Annabelle Bostock Kriegel, who died Saturday at age 88.

Kriegel was active in the local political scene for many years, starting with her leadership in the local Republican Club. Son Charles Kriegel, a physician, said she was active in campaigns when the family lived in Montauk, N.Y., before moving to New Jersey.

"She was always involved in politics," he said. "I remember she helped with campaigns for Republican or Conservative candidates."

While active in the local Republican Club, Kriegel met many other local leaders—including current Club President Bonnie Plotkin.

"When I first met her, she welcomed me with open arms into the Republican circle," Plotkin said. "She had lots of energy and was always hosting meetings.  She was a very vital woman, who also cared deeply for her husband and her family, especially her grandchildren." 

Eventually that involvement led to her appointment to the Warren Planning Board, just as development in the area was exploding.

"She worked hard to try and make Warren the way it is today," Dr. Kriegel said. "It was a lot of long meetings and compromising to get open space."

She also served on the environmental commission, county library counsel and the state welfare board, as well as a term on the Township Committee, where members picked her as mayor in 1982. Dr. Kriegel remembers Sunday afternoon phone calls from constituents wanting potholes fixed, or other township problems solved.  

"She pinned my badge on me when I first became a police officer," Warren Township Chief of Police Russell Leffert said. Leffert had known the family for many years, and he said Annabelle and her husband Harry (who is deceased) were "always involved in Warren." 

"She was a sweet, sweet lady," he said.

That was about the time Township Committeewoman and former Mayor Carolann Garafola moved to Warren, who said she met Mayor Kriegel when she lived in her first house, which was on Stirling Road.

"I had gone to the township to bid on five small lots abounding my property and although she did not know me, she was very prompt about getting them up for bid," Garafola said. "She was very informative about the process and most gracious.

"In all her work as mayor and as an elected official, she was a 'First Lady' in Warren Township," She added.

Annabelle Kriegel was born in 1924 in Newburgh, N.Y., and attended the Newburgh Free Academy, followed by the Brander Matthews Theater at Columbia University.

She worked as a bookkeeper and telephone operator for New York Bell, and in 1954, married Harry.  After settling in Warren, the family joined Advent Lutheran Church. Her obituary notes that she remained steadfast in her faith, "despite losing two children to Pompe Disease"—sons Harry and Daniel. 

She is survived by her sister Elsie of Newburgh, N.Y.; her son Dr. Charles Kriegel and his wife Pamela; grandchildren Ali and Charlie of Winslow, Maine. She is also survived by nephew Edmund Fries and his wife Brenda of Oceanside, Calif., nieces Hon. Wenda K. Travers and her husband Richard Travers, M.D., Stephanie Hoff and her husband Michael Hoff, Esq., nephews Charles Kavanagh and his wife Chrissy and Thomas Kavanagh and his wife Kim. She is also survived by several grand-nieces and nephews. 

She is survived by special friends Kathy and Shannon McAdams and Joan Phillips. 

The family would like to thank Dr. Alan Fine, Dr. Herbert Lipschultz and Dr. Gita Patel for their excellent care. 

Services will be held at Higgins Home for Funerals, with visitation from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, with a 6:30 p.m. funeral service. Everyone is invited to gather at the funeral home on Friday morning at 9 a.m. before proceeding to Woodlawn Cemetery, New Windsor, N.Y., for a graveside service. 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: The Warren Township Rescue Squad or the Pine Tree Camp Society, 149 Front St, Bath, ME 04530. 

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