Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli Passes Away at Age of 70 (South Holland, IL) – A tireless supporter of senior programs and the longest serving Illinois Township Supervisor has died. Frank M. Zuccarelli, 70, Thornton Township supervisor, passed away at his home Monday at 1:18 p.m. South Holland paramedics responded and he was pronounced dead.
Cause of Death
No foul play is suspected, and appears to be the result of natural causes, according to the village of South Holland. The official cause of death is under investigation. He celebrated his 70th birthday in October.
A South Holland native, Zuccarelli attended Thornridge High School and earned two Associate Degrees from Thornton Community College (currently South Suburban College). He earned a Bachelor Degree from Governor State University located in University Park, Illinois.
“Today I am saddened to hear of the passing of Frank Zuccarelli, Thornton Township Supervisor and Committee person,” said Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President, on her Facebook page.
“Frank has been a devoted community member and for the south suburbs for nearly 40 years serving on a number of boards for community organizations as a strong champion for innovative programs at Thornton Township and a leading voice for strengthening our community college education systems.
South Holland Mayor Don A. DeGraff echoed those words.
“We mourn the sudden loss of our friend Frank Zuccarelli,” said DeGraff
“He has been a faithful and devoted leader for decades, as Thornton Township Supervisor, Chairman of the Board of South Suburban College, and as Democratic Committeeman for Thornton Township. He has also been a personal friend for many years, and I will miss serving alongside him. I pray that God would bring peace and comfort to Frank’s family, friends, and colleagues.”
Village of Dixmoor Mayor Fitzgerald Roberts
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli. I have had the privilege of working with Frank for a number of years and I found him to be someone who would not only listen to the concerns of communities like ours but find ways to get things done. When our community was fighting for its life during the recent water crisis, Frank was there for us standing with our residents and doing all he could to help us. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Frank Zuccarelli. He will be missed.”
Illinois Board of Elections
According to Matt Dietrich, public information officer for the Illinois State Board of Elections, the township has 60 days to call a meeting and make an appointment. The board can appoint any qualified candidate that does not have a felony. They do not have to call a special election.
However the statute also states “if a vacancy exists in any township office and the vacancy is not filled within 60 days, the electors at a special township meeting may select a qualified person to fill the vacancy and to serve until the expiration of that term.”
During his most recent swearing in ceremony which took place in May, Zuccarelli said he respected the people he served and that it was important to always work for the community. At that time, he said he was not looking to retire anytime soon and had more work to do to help the Thornton Township community.
Well Known for Leadership
He was well known for his strong leadership style that is vigorous, decisive, honest and straightforward, that promotes respect and trust by the general public, superiors and peers. He had a record of developing long term governmental relations for almost the past four decades.
Because of his commitment to people and his passion for helping others, Zuccarelli was elected Supervisor of Thornton Township in April 1993. He served on the Thornton Township Youth Committee Board for 16 years prior to his election to Township Supervisor and became South Suburban College Board of Trustees since 1978, serving as Chairman since 1987.
“He may not have always agreed with how I did it but he definitely would always support it. The 2nd person to call me the day after the people elected me to this seat,” said Monet S. Wilson, Calumet City alderwoman.
“Even when he didn’t agree,he would purchase a table or two at my mother’s galas and always be in attendance. From supporting my high school fundraisers to supporting me as a legislator, Zuccarelli was somewhere in the mix. Rest well Supervisor Zuccaelli.”
Zucarelli Assistance Program or ZAP
He also engineered the Zuccarelli Assistance Program or ZAP, which allowed teens, ages 16 and older, the opportunity to get paid for mowing lawns of seniors, age 60 and older, who live in one of the 17 municipalities included in the township. The program, which started in 2004, runs from April to the end of October. In April, the teens are trained and in the first week of May, they begin to service lawns in the township. More than 1,000 residents each year benefited from the program.
Zuccarelli was a four-time Township Officials of Illinois Supervisor of the Year and Thornton Township earned the honor three times. In 2001, Frank was elected to serve as the Democratic Committeeman for Thornton Township, the largest township in the State of Illinois.
As a long standing elected official, Frank is the recipient of numerous awards and honors during his years serving as a public servant; to name a few:; The Chicago Food Depository awards for War on Hunger and Quality Service, Community Leader; Civic Responsibility Award; Diversity Inc. Award; the Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Committee for Honest Government and countless other awards and honors.
Little Known Facts
Little known facts
What do you enjoy most about public service?
When you get an opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life that sticks with you. Local government is where you can make that impact
Your favorite Township event: Spirit of Thornton Township and Christmas Care program
Your favorite movie: Scent of a Woman and Pretty Woman
Your favorite musical artist: The Beatles and Tina Turner
One fact about you that people might not know: I was in the Air Force
Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli Passes Away at Age of 70