Mr. Polidori )
From leading Dearborn’s firefighters to joining the City Council and representing the community as a state lawmaker, Gino Polidori loved public service.
“He enjoyed doing what he could for citizens of his city and the state,” said his son, Gino Polidori Jr. “That’s what he loved to do.”
Mr. Polidori died Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, after battling prostate cancer. He was 72.
A Dearborn native, he attended Fordson High School. After a two-year stint in the Army, Mr. Polidori joined the Dearborn Fire Department.
He became its fire chief in the 1970s. Retiring in 1996, Mr. Polidori extended his public service and was elected to the Dearborn City Council the next year.
In 2004 he won a seat in the state House of Representatives. The Democrat, who represented the 15th District, eventually chaired its Military and Veterans Affairs committee.
Among his achievements was spearheading a state law granting the Dearborn Allied War Veterans Council the authority to honor service members and secure burial in a national cemetery, according to Detroit News archives.
“When it came to treating our veterans with respect and dignity as well as providing resources and help for them, he led the way,” said state Rep. Doug Geiss, D-Taylor.
On the House floor, over issues such as funding for education, Mr. Polidori “was just relentless in speaking out for his district,” Kathy Angerer, the former majority floor leader. “He wanted to make sure the voices of the people he represented were heard.”
Mr. Polidori also was personable — sharing jokes, mentoring others and fostering bipartisanship. “He truly was a class act,” Geiss said.
Term-limited in 2010, Mr. Polidori continued serving with groups such as the Dearborn Goodfellows, the Italian American Fraternal Club and a local post of the American Legion, relatives said.
Active with the veterans council, he recently was elected commander, his son said. “He continued that life of service right up to the end,” Geiss said.
Other survivors include his wife, Betty; daughters Laura Polidori and Rita Stergalas; five grandchildren; his mother, Natalina; and two brothers, Anthony and Raymond.
Visitation is 2-8 p.m. Wednesday and 1-8 p.m. Thursday at the John N. Santeiu & Son Funeral Home, 1139 N. Inkster, Garden City. Services are planned for 11 a.m. Friday at St. Barbara Parish, 13534 Colson, Dearborn.