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Home / News / Longtime Rancho Cucamonga Councilmember, Sam Spagnolo, dies at 80

Longtime Rancho Cucamonga Councilmember, Sam Spagnolo, dies at 80

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The City of Rancho Cucamonga announced last week that longtime City Councilmember and Fire Board Member, Sam Spagnolo, passed away at the age of 80.

He leaves behind his wife of over 50 years, Vi, three children, and seven grandchildren.

“With over 50 years of service to our Rancho Cucamonga community, this loss will be felt for years to come,” the city said in a statement. “Sam Spagnolo was also a loving husband, father, and grandfather. We would like to share our condolences and unwavering support to the Spagnolo family as they grieve his passing.”

Spagnolo retired as a Fire Captain with 35 years of service to the Rancho Cucamonga Fire District. Prior to working for the Rancho Cucamonga Fire District, he was a volunteer for the Alta Loma Fire Department and subsequently hired full time by the Foothill Fire District. He served many of those years as an elected officer of the Rancho Cucamonga Firefighters’ Association, where he built coalitions benefiting the public safety.

For his efforts, Spagnolo received numerous accolades and recognitions for his service. He was the recipient of the Cucamonga Peak Award in 1998, the City’s Harvest Award in 2001, the Fire Quest Volunteer Award in 2002, and received Congressional Recognition for his action in fighting the Grand Prix Fire in 2003.

He was the creator of the Ashley Smith Fund for child burn victims, founder of the city’s CPR and first-aid program, volunteer for “Spark of Love” Toy Drive, and a past Board Member for American Heart Association. Sam Spagnolo retired from the Rancho Cucamonga Fire District on Dec. 31, 2003.

“Myself and my fellow City Council/Fire Board Members are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend. We are mourning his passing along with his family and friends. Council Member Spagnolo’s service to our Rancho Cucamonga Community will have a lasting impact for generations to come,” City Mayor L. Dennis Michael said.

For the last twenty years, one of his passions was to bring a 9/11 Memorial Park to Rancho Cucamonga. His role was instrumental with the non-profit organization, Freedom’s Flame, who retrieved remnants from the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and brought them back to Rancho Cucamonga. The development of a 9/11 Memorial Park just began gaining momentum in the last few months of his life and our commitment to seeing this project come to fruition in his honor is stronger than ever.

For more information on this project or to donate visit, CityofRC.us/911MemorialProject.

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