NEW YORK (WABC) -- Family, friends and supporters gathered Tuesday to bid a final farewell to a New York state lawmaker who made history.
Funeral services were held for New York State Senator Jose Peralta at Saint Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Peralta, the first Dominican-American elected to the state senate, died last week at 47.
His wife Evelyn said he suffered septic shock, though the exact cause of death has not yet been determined. She told reporters her husband had felt pressure behind his ears and headaches for a week or more and had seen a doctor, but his condition didn't raise alarms until he developed a fever Tuesday and became disoriented and had trouble breathing Wednesday. He was then taken to a hospital, she said.
State Assembly Speaker and fellow Democrat Carl Heastie recalled Peralta's commitment to public schools, gun safety and immigrant rights.
"His constituents remained his top priority" even after his primary loss, Heastie said in a statement, noting that Peralta was coordinating a flu shot clinic in his district and distributing Thanksgiving turkeys to the needy only days ago. His wife said he initially believed his symptoms were a reaction to his own flu shot.
A GoFundMe campaign raised $25,000 to help pay for his funeral.
Governor Andrew Cuomo who lowered state flags to half-staff in Peralta's honor, donated $10,000 to the fund.
Peralta started his state political career in 2002, when he was elected to the Assembly. He won a special election in 2010 to the state Senate and was re-elected in four general elections.
He later became a member of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference, the splinter group that helped maintain Republican control of the chamber. Cuomo brokered a deal earlier this year to reunify Senate Democrats, but six of the IDC's eight former members were soon ousted in party primaries.
Peralta's survivors include his wife and two sons.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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Funeral held for New York State Senator Jose Peralta in Queens