- Advertisement -spot_img
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Rancho Cucamonga council member Sam Spagnolo dies at 80

Rancho Cucamonga Council Member Sam Spagnolo Dies At 80

Retired fire captain Sam Spagnolo, one of the longest-serving members of Rancho Cucamonga City Council, has died. He was 80 years old.

“Me and my fellow city council/fire board members are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend,” Mayor L. Denis Michael said in a prepared statement. “The service of council member Spagnolo to our Rancho Cucamonga community will have a lasting impact on generations to come.”

Spagnolo, who died on Monday, May 2, was described by the city as a “pillar of the Rancho Cucamonga community.” He was elected to the city council in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. His four-year term in District 1 ends in November 2024.

The council will decide in the next two to three weeks how it plans to fill the vacancies. City leaders can appoint someone for the remainder of Spagnolo’s term, or hold a special election, said Michael, who also worked with Spagnolo in the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District.

“I was so blessed to have worked with Sam for the rest of my career in the fire department and my entire career as an elected official,” Michael said Wednesday. “We had our differences but we always had the greatest respect for each other.”

Spagnolo spent 35 years as a firefighter in the Fire Department. He retired as a Fire Captain on December 31, 2003.

James Curatello, a retired battalion chief who worked with Spagnolo for 20 years, said his fellow firefighters and friends were always on the lookout for victims of a car accident, fire or other emergency.

“We’d be on call and someone had lost their vehicle or was in a rough road,” Curatalo recalled Wednesday. “He further thought about what he needed. I remember he used to arrange for people to find a hotel.”

Later, Spagnolo and others in the fire department incorporated a new kind of firefighting ethics into a mission statement that included caring for victims.

“Sam was an initiator of those kinds of things that went above and beyond. And he became part of the culture of the Rancho Cucamonga Fire,” said Curatalo, who sits on the board of directors of the Cucamonga Valley Water District.

Michael said it was Spagnolo who helped start the Ashley Smith Fund, named after a girl who had severe burns, that raises money for children with burns. Spagnolo also helped found the city’s CPR and first aid training program.

As a retired firefighter and council member, Spagnolo worked for more than 20 years to honor the men and women of the New York City Fire Department who saved the lives of those trapped in the World Trade Center as a result of the terrorist attack. He was killed while trying to save. of September 11, 2001.

Spagnolo helped the non-profit organization Freedom’s Flame retrieve remains from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and brought them back to Rancho Cucamonga. Development of a 9/11 Memorial Park that would display those remains began to gain momentum in April, the last few months of Spagnolo’s life.

In his last public appearance, Spagnolo participated in the ground breaking for Fire Station 178 on April 4. On that property, approximately 1.44 acres have been set aside for the memorial park. The city is raising money by soliciting donations, which can be done by visiting cityofrc.us/news/911memorial-project.

“I was hoping he … could see that the park is complete,” said Michael, speaking Wednesday, holding back tears. “But he will see it from heaven.”

Ontario City Council postponed its meeting on Tuesday night in honor of Spagnolo. Mayor Paul Lyons called Spagnolo “a brilliant man and a humble, nice boy who cared about his community.”

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here