BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC LOCAL 33) Denise Amoroso describes herself as determined, resilient and a woman who is becoming more compassionate.
“The norm that I lived for 37 years, is no longer my norm,” said Amoroso.
Holding back tears, she describes what her life is like in the year since her husband, former East Baton Rouge Metro Council Member Buddy Amoroso died in a bicycle accident. She says everyone has a Buddy story.
“When you lose someone, people are afraid, you’re afraid they are gonna be forgotten and so people talking about him and telling me how he made a difference in their life, has meant everything in the world to me,” described Amoroso.
Her world is now a 180 since her husband’s death. She was appointed to his seat after some controversy. Several metro council members didn’t vote, saying the process to fill vacant council seats is outdated. Several months later, she won a special election. Now, in her husband’s former office, surrounded by pictures and momentos of him, this school teacher is front and center in Baton Rouge government.
Amoroso said, “It’s been good therapy for me to help other people the way they need to be helped.”
She sits in her late husband’s seat during council meetings. It’s a job she said she takes with full responsibility while continuing her late husband’s legacy.
“He dearly loved his city and he dearly loved his district and he loved the people and I want to see that continued,” added Amoroso.
One day after his death, some 100 people in the Baton Rouge cycling community came together to remember Buddy Amoroso for a memorial bike ride. The plan is to make this an annual event, called The Buddy Ride.
It will benefit Louisiana Key Academy, the only charter school in the Baton Rouge area specifically for children with dyslexia.
Amoroso explained, “Buddy was dyslexic and Buddy was very involved with that school.”
As she plans for that, Denise Amoroso said she works hard to fill her late husband’s shoes. She also keeps his memory close to her with a bike tattoo on her wrist, while learning more about Denise, 2.0.
“Never dreamed I would be sitting here behind this desk or behind that desk in there. So you don’t know what life is gonna hold. So I just take one day at a time. That’s all I can do,” reflected Amoroso.
The Buddy Ride is Saturday, June 29. You can find all the information on how to register and times at https://www.facebook.com/theBuddyride/.