In his almost three many years of serving on the Margate Fee, Joseph Varsallone tackled funds, addressed redevelopment and supported packages for seniors.
“They’re the celebrities of the place,” Varsallone mentioned in a 2006 Miami Herald story about Margate offering providers for seniors. “With out them, it wouldn’t be Margate.”
Varsallone, who glided by “Joe,” “Uncle Joe,” “Mr. Mayor” or “Mr. Metropolis Commissioner,” died on Feb. 8 from lung illness that he had been combating, his son Jim Varsallone mentioned. Joe Varsallone was 88.
He was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. Earlier than his lengthy profession in South Florida politics, Varsallone served his nation by becoming a member of the U.S. Marines and combating within the Korean Warfare.
Then-Cpl. Varsallone noticed fight and carried a subject phone field communicator, his son mentioned. The Marine earned Purple Coronary heart, Korean Service Medal, U.S. Marine Corp Good Conduct Medal, the United Nations Service Ribbon and the Nationwide Protection Ribbon. He was most pleased with his service, sporting a tattoo on his arm exhibiting his love of the Corps.
Round 1974, Varsallone moved to Margate together with his household. He’d name town dwelling for the subsequent 40 years, and he labored to make change by enveloping himself within the political world. He turned an lively member within the Broward Democratic Membership. From the Eighties to 2013, he served the Metropolis of Margate authorities for 28 years. He served as mayor 4 occasions and 6 occasions as vice mayor. He additionally served as a metropolis commissioner.
In his politics, Varsallone noticed town and its peoples wants as key. In a 1995 article he advised the Herald, “We’ve to ensure that companies that do come to our metropolis keep in our metropolis… I don’t need to depart a legacy to my youngsters of extra taxes.”
Speech-making is a pivotal ability in a politicians profession, and whereas Varsallone had a love for it, his strategies had been a bit unorthodox.
“He wouldn’t write something. Impromptu,” his son mentioned. “He would simply take the mic and go. He had a booming voice, ‘I don’t want a microphone.’”
Varsallone additionally actively cared for and aided the folks he served and lived subsequent to for years. “Joe helped the senior residents and loved their conferences and lunches and dinners; their ceremonies for his or her residents,” his son mentioned. “College capabilities, golf equipment, civic, social — something to help the residents and attempt to make Margate a bit of higher.”
In 2013, Varsallone retired from the Margate fee after extra almost three many years of service.
The South Florida Solar Sentinel reported that in his farewell speech, he mentioned, “Thanks to all of the residents of Margate for permitting me to serve with this illustrious fee, and the commissions earlier than, for the previous 28 years. We, and I’ve all the time mentioned ‘we,’ it’s not ‘I,’ have made a distinction.”
Household are asking those that want to honor “Joe” Varsallone to donate to Wounded Warriors, Paralyzed Veterans of America and different established organizations whose mission is to assist veterans.
Varsallone is survived by his spouse Barbara; his daughter Maria; two sons, Bob and Jim; two sister-in-laws; 4 grandchildren and their spouses; seven great-grandchildren; 9 nieces and nephews and their spouses; 17 great-nieces and nephews; eight great-great nieces and nephews; and trustworthy German Shepard-Husky Luke.
A memorial Mass will likely be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 19 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1501 N. Alafaya Path in Orlando. There will likely be no viewing, and attendance will likely be restricted. Masks and social distancing will likely be required.
A personal funeral service for household will likely be held on the U.S. Veterans Cemetery in Palm Seashore in March 1. The service will likely be accessible on-line to view at a later date attributable to pandemic restrictions.