In January, College Point lost beloved civic leader and activist Joe Femenia. Nine months later, the community has dedicated a local street in honor of “Mr. College Point.”
This past weekend, the Femenia family, elected officials and members of Community Board 7 and the College Point Civic and Taxpayer Association (CPCTA) gathered at the intersection of 130th Street and 23rd Avenue to unveil the new “Joe Feminia Way.”
The CPCTA learned of Femenia’s sudden passing at the monthly meeting on Jan. 30. The fourth-generation College Point resident had been the organization’s president on and off since 2008.
In February, Councilman Paul Vallone proposed a street co-naming in Femenia’s honor.
“Joe worked tirelessly to make sure that the community he was born in received its fair share, was vigilant when it came to capital improvement projects, and always stressed the importance of civic engagement,” said Vallone. “If ever there was someone who perfectly personified the neighborhood, it was Joe. A dear friend, an outspoken civic leader, and a great man, our ‘Mr. College Point’ will be dearly missed.”
The lifelong Queens resident attended P.S. 129, JHS 194, Flushing High School and Queens College. He married Laura Wiskemann in 1992 and started his career with the MTA in 1993. He was the chair for Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee and served on the board for a decade.
“Joe attended school and church in College Point, he played in the parks, married me, and had a lifetime of love and dedication to his hometown,” said his wife Laura Femenia. “He had many victories in protecting and preserving the integrity of College Point. As far as my husband was concerned, every resident in College Point was his neighbor.”
During his life, Femenia was also responsible for restarting the CPCTA in 2008. He served as the organization’s president from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2014 until his passing.
“Joe served ten years with us on the board and was a fantastic chair of the Transportation Committee,” said Community Board 7 Chair Gene Kelty. “Joe was a wonderful friend, I really will miss him and we will never forget him.”