- SYMPATHY NOTE
Florindo J. "Flo" Fabrizio
Pennsylvania State Rep. Florindo J. "Flo" Fabrizio, 73, died Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Flo died peacefully at home like he lived his life - with dignity and grace and thinking of others.
Born in Erie, he was the son of the late Nicola and Ida Passarelli Fabrizio. After graduating from Strong Vincent High School in 1962, he attended Pennsylvania State University Main Campus where he received his Bachelor's Degree in General Arts and Sciences. He was a member and an officer of Chi Phi Fraternity.
While attending graduate school at Temple University, he taught in the Philadelphia Public Schools.
Upon returning to Erie, he taught and held several positions with the Erie School District, and received his Master's Degree in Counseling from Edinboro State College (now University). He also pursued doctoral studies at Nova University.
Flo worked as a stock broker from 1973 to 1982 when he became Erie County Clerk and Clerk of Elections, retiring in November 2002.
First elected in 2002 to represent the 2nd Legislative District, he was re-elected to seven consecutive terms. He has served on the House Aging, Finance, Insurance and State Government Committees, and served as Vice Chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee.
He was elected Chairman of the Northwest Caucus, served as Policy Committee Vice Chairman and as Trustee to the American Italian Caucus.
Currently, Flo was serving as Democratic Chairman of the House Health Committee, as Deputy Whip, as Speaker-appointed member of the Legislative Audit Advisory Commission and as a member of the House Rules Committee.
Also, he was elected by the Republican and Democratic leadership of both the House and Senate to serve as Chairman of the Joint State Government Commission, a bipartisan/bicameral research agency of the General Assembly which provides the legislature with a readily available mechanism conducting interdisciplinary studies.
Flo was the godfather of gaming legislation, a strong advocate for medical marijuana, worked hard to secure funding for his alma mater, the Erie School District, and for a bill that updated the length of stay in ambulatory surgery centers.
Flo has been active in the Erie community, serving as a charter member of the Erie Museum Commission, as a board member of Pleasant Ridge Manor, a member of Gannon University's Physician Assistant Advisory Board, as a board member of the Martin Luther King Center, as President of the Saints and Sinners Dan Rice Tent, and as a board member of many other philanthropic and charitable organizations.
Flo has received many awards and accolades through the years, most notably as the Giuseppe Mazzini Civic Association's Man of the Year, the Cicero Award recipient from the Jefferson Educational Society and leadership awards from the Greater Erie Community Action Committee (GECAC).
As a long-time member of the board and vice president at the Erie Maennerchor Club, he sponsored the first female member. While his initial effort failed, he paved the way for not only female members, but a more ethnically diverse club.
He was a life member of the Erie Maennerchor Club, and a member of the Elks Club, Sunflower Club, Zukor Club and Nuova Aurora Club.
Known for his deep, distinctive voice, he at one time hosted the Italian Hour radio program, was the announcer for the Sailors baseball games at Ainsworth Field, and sang with the Maennerchor Choristers. His extemporaneous, firebrand, motivational speeches at political and other functions are legendary.
He was an equally talented thespian, having played the roles of El Gallo in The Fantasticks, as Joe Cabot in the first ever stage production of Reservoir Dogs and as Detective Hennessy in Cocoanuts, both Roadhouse Theater productions.
His love for entertaining extended to being a clown with the Saints and Sinners at the Dan Rice Parade in Girard, and playing Santa Claus at the GECAC Activities Association Breakfast with Santa.
A life-long Democrat, he believed in the principles of the party - equal and civil rights, quality public education and social programs for those in need. He loved engaging today's youth in the political process and frequently met with the Democratic organizations at the area's universities.
Flo was proud of his Italian heritage, having grown up in Erie's Little Italy. However, he frequently remarked, "I am glad my grandfather made the boat.''
Flo was an ardent fan of Penn State football, attending as many home games as possible. Family and friends knew not to schedule events that would conflict with the Nittany Lions' schedule.
Besides his parents, Flo was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, John D. Mong; and sister-in-law, Patricia Beyer Collier, and her husband, the Rev. John Collier.
Flo is survived by his wife of 30 years, Victoria Beyer Fabrizio; two stepsons, Anthony J. Sanfilippo (wife Allison) and Matthew J. Sanfilippo (wife Brooke), all of Erie; a daughter, Jill Macknicki (husband Steve) of Kneeland, CA; a sister, Rosalia Mong of Erie; two step-grandchildren, Sophia and Joseph Sanfilippo, both of Erie; two grandchildren, Zoe and Noah Macknicki of Kneeland, CA; nephews and niece, Marie Troyer (husband Kevin) of Erie, John Mong (wife Kelly) of Williamsville, NY, Christopher Mong (wife Christine), Michael and Nick Mong, all of Erie.
Friends may call at the Mercyhurst University Chapel, 501 E. 38th St., on Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m. and may attend a funeral Mass on Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Jude the Apostle Church, 2801 W. 6th St. The Rev. John Detisch will officiate.
Entombment will be at Calvary Cemetery.
The John R. Orlando Funeral Home, Inc., 2124 Raspberry St., is handling arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Flo Fabrizio Next Generation Fund at Hamot Health Foundation, 302 French St., Erie, PA 16507 or to Hospice of Metropolitan Erie, 202 E. 10th St., Erie, Pa 16502.