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April 2, 2014

'She wanted to better the community and always put others first'

Former Methuen City Councilor Uliano dies at 63

METHUEN — Former City Councilor and community activist Patricia Uliano died on Monday after a battle with cancer. She was 63.

Uliano, whom family said spent most of her time volunteering for community and civic organizations, was the first woman to serve as president of Methuen Pop Warner football, served eight years as a city councilor from the east district and served on the Board of Appeals.

"She just loved being involved with the kids and she enjoyed being around people," said husband Don Uliano, 63. "She took a stand on a lot of issues. She wanted to better the community, and always put others first."

Uliano worked extensively with Methuen Pop Warner, eventually becoming its first female president. Ed Wallace, Methuen Pop Warner's current president, said though Uliano preceded his time with the organization, her reputation was well known.

"She's always been great to our program and she was highly touted as a president," Wallace said. "I got a call from the Merrimack Valley Pop Warner president sending his condolences because she was well regarded. She was very fair, very firm and she tried to do the right thing at all times. She tried to do what was best for the kids."

Uliano spent a total of eight years as a city councilor before being defeated in 2011. She was a fixture at City Hall with her boxer Molly, who died about two years ago and went everywhere with her. Notably, she voted consistently against tax increases, arguing that the city's operating budget should be cut instead, especially during the recession.

One of her east district successors, Councilor Ron Marsan, picked up that mantel, having pledged not to vote for any tax increases.

The other councilor who succeeded her, Thomas Ciulla, praised her service. "She was a kind woman, and a fighter. She'll be missed," Ciulla said.

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