JERSEY CITY – Former Jersey City Councilman Paul Cuprowski passed away on May 25 at the age of 72 after a long illness. Cuprowski died in Georgia, where he was living prior to his death.
Remembered by those who knew and worked with him as a kind man, Cuprowski became one of the youngest people to join the City Council when he was elected as a councilman at-large in 1973 at the age of 33. He ran for reelection and retained his seat in 1977, after which he was nominated as City Council president.
Years later, in 1983, after deciding against a third run for the council, Cuprowski was elected to the New Jersey Assembly in the 32nd District. He served only one term in the Assembly, however, and was defeated in his 1985 reelection bid.
Professionally, Cuprowski worked in the Hudson County Division of Planning and Economic Development until he retired in 2005.
In a statement issued over the weekend, his surviving family members said:
“Today we lost a father, brother, uncle, husband and a legend, sadly after an 8-and-a-half-year battle with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP; also known as Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome), which is a rare disease that gradually destroys nerve cells in the parts of the brain that control eye movements, breathing, and muscle coordination. The loss of nerve cells causes palsy, or paralysis, that slowly gets worse as the disease progresses. The palsy affects ability to move the eyes, relax the muscles, and control balance.
“Growing up a poor boy in Downtown Jersey City, NJ, he dropped out of school and joined the United States Army during the Vietnam era, serving his country for four years achieving his high school diploma and studied college level courses.
“He is fondly remembered for his coaching Little League baseball, recreational basketball, having the Paul Cuprowski Association, Board of Trustees for the Boys and Girls Club of Jersey City and an avid veterans advocate.”
Cuprowski is survived by his wife Ellen Cuprowski in Brick, N.J. And the following family from Adairsville, Ga.: his former wife Shelby Cuprowski Adams; his daughter, Shelby (Sherry) Cuprowski Perine Killen and husband Richard Killen; and sons Lee Cuprowski and wife Denise Muir Cuprowski, and Paul Michael Cuprowski and wife Michele Scillia Cuprowski. Grandsons, Kenneth Perine and wife Tabitha Martin Perine, John Paul Cuprowski and wife Whitney Mulkey Cuprowski, Michael Cuprowski, Paul Cuprowski Jr. and Alex Cuprowski. Great grandchildren, Kylie Perine, Traceston Perine and Walker Cuprowski. And many nieces and nephews. His sisters, Pauline Coleman, Mary Ann Bruno Catherine O’Mara and Carol Hussey.
He will be buried in Georgia.