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Services set for former Cape council member

By Staff | Dec 23, 2009

Funeral arrangements have been set for one of Cape Coral’s most beloved citizens.
Calling hours for Tony Rotino, who passed away at Gulf Coast Village at the age of 95 on Tuesday, are Sunday, Dec. 27, from 5 – 8 p.m., at Metz Funeral Home. Graveside services are Monday, Dec 28, at 11:30 a.m., at Coral Ridge Cemetery.
A prolific community ambassador, Rotino was a city council member for 16 years, serving between 1978 and 1994.
He was also a member of numerous city clubs ad organizations, including the Kiwanis, the Italian American Club and the Volunteer Fireman’s Association.
People who worked with and knew Rotino remembered him as someone who cared deeply for Cape Coral and his job as a city councilman.
“He was a consummate public servant,” said former Mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz, who worked with Rotino on City Council. “Tony was a guy that everyone went to to get the little things done, all the things that meant so much to the people of this community.”
The senior center that bares his name is one of his greatest, if not most dogged achievements, Mazurkiewicz said.
Rotino would regularly plead his case before the Lee County Commission, trying to get as much funding for the senior center and senior programs as possible.
“Annually he made his pilgrimage to get funding for that building … and used his persuasive abilities with county commission,” Mazurkiewicz.
Former Mayor Roger Butler, who served under Rotino as police chief, said the long-time resident was very careful as to how he spent the city’s money and that every decision he made was in the best interests of the citizens.
“Everything he did was for the city. He made sure everything went smoothly,” Butler said.
Former City Councilmember Dolores Bertolini said Rotino was a great guy, and that she went to him after arriving in Cape Coral to learn everything about their city.
“He was a gracious gentleman and a good council member,” Bertolini said. “He left a lot behind for us and did a lot for this city. Cape Coral lost another icon.”
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1914, Rotino retired from the Ford Motor Company and made his way to Cape Coral in 1975, by way of Sheffield, Ohio.
He is survived by his children, Joe (Betty) Rotino of Cape Coral, Sam (Ginny) Rotino of Buffalo, N.Y., Barbara Ann Lane of Florida and Fran Rotino of North Fort Myers. He also had nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy in 2001.
In lieu of flowers, family members are asking memorial contributions may be made payable to the Tony Rotino Senior Center, 5817 Driftwood Parkway, Cape Coral, FL 33904.