New City resident Dorie McMaster unexpectedly passed away in her home Wednesday night at the age of 77. She was active in the New City business community as a restaurant owner, president of the Downtown New City Corp., member of the New City Rotary and New City Chamber of Commerce. She was committed to helping to children as a longtime member of the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters and vice president and president-elect of the Clarkstown Education Foundation.
“She’ll be missed,” said Mike Aglialoro, who served on the Clarkstown Education Foundation with McMaster for five years. “She had a good heart and was always there to help. Her intentions were always good.”
Aglialoro said she was very active in the foundation, helped raise funds and contributed her time and money.
Aglialoro knew McMaster for about 20 years; she was a relative by marriage. He described her as a terrific person and a terrific friend.
Gillian Ballard, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, recalled McMaster fondly.
“She was a gem,” Ballard said. “She was a jewel in the crown.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters Vice Chairman Robert Barilli shared his feelings about McMaster, who served as a board member for at least 15 years.
“We lost an icon. The lady was honorable and the most big-hearted lady I’ve met in my life,” he said. “She was the heart and soul of this board.”
Barilli said her dedication to children and the New City community was evident.
“She was that much of an advocate for the youth,” said Barilli. She loved the town. She loved her family. She loved her friends.”
Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack recalled meeting McMaster when he became town supervisor and she approached him about the need to revitalize Main Street.
"She was very involved sometimes in a very vocal way and sometimes in a very behind the scenes way," he said. "She was very involved as a businessperson."
Gromack said she expressed the need to improve the look and spirit of New City.
"I don't think the general public knew how committed she felt to Clarkstown and New City," he said.
She was a member of the Pride of Clarkstown Committee, which recognized commercial property owners whose properties were well maintained.
A son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren survive McMaster.
Higgins Funeral Home at 321 South Main Street in New City is handling the service arrangements. On Sunday, June 24, calling hours are from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. On Monday, June 25, there will be a service at Higgins at 11 a.m. which will be followed by burial at Laurel Grove Cemetery, 295 Totowa Road in Totowa, NJ.
The Clarkstown Central School District posted the following remembrance of her.
Longtime Clarkstown community member and former owner of A Matter of Taste, Dorie McMaster passed away suddenly in her home late last evening. Dorie was a tremendous supporter of the Clarkstown community and most significantly, children in need. It was her spirit of generosity, kind heart, and loving manner towards children that prompted her five years of selfless service to the Clarkstown Education Foundation. She was instrumental in organizing and running the majority of fundraising events. She gave of her time, resources and passion in a way that truly improved the lives of others. She will be sadly missed by her family, friends and community.