Published December 17, 2012
Happy birthday, Joe
By Nico Rubello email@example.com
FRASER — The Fraser City Council recently recognized the 90th birthday of longtime city resident Joe DiStefano with a special tribute during its meeting.
During a ceremony replete with memorable stories, DiStefano, surrounded by family members, received a certificate of recognition from the City Council and a state proclamation from state Rep. Marilyn Lane, D-Fraser, and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
“We have a great deal to thank you for, not only as individuals, but as a community,” said Fraser Councilman Bill Morelli.
DiStefano was born on Dec. 7, 1922 in Sicily. At the age of 27, he moved to Detroit, where he ran a poultry shop for years, earning the affectionate nickname Chicken Joe.
DiStefano also can claim responsibility for helping develop the city of Fraser from the ground up; beginning in the 1970s, he worked as a builder, developer and real estate broker.
His touch lies in everything from residential neighborhoods to the Fraser Industrial Complex at 15 Mile and Kelly. When he first came across it, the land on which the industrial park now lies was an untapped swampland.
“You have been a true example of what the potential is for anyone who comes to this great country,” Morelli said. “In addition to that, you learned about the building industry. In addition to that, you bought absolutely terrible land and you made it into one of the greatest industrial parks around.”
Mayor Doug Hagerty said the industrial park delivers a significant percentage of the city’s tax base, so “much of what we have in the city of Fraser, we would not be able to afford if it wasn’t for this industrial base that got built by this industrialist.”
“Because of your investments and time and energy, that industrial park is one of the reasons that, as a city, we’ve been able to sustain through these hard times with the amount of revenue to keep things going,” added Councilman Paul Cilluffo.
Morelli additionally read a letter from Lane, who recalled Christmas treats of wine and cheese with “Papa Joe.” Longtime business associate Oskar Immler, of Deluxe Development, also recalled how DiStefano talked him into moving to Fraser before getting him into the building industry.
DiStefano has been a consistent staple in Fraser city affairs since 1971, spending countless hours at zoning and planning meeting, and stepping up to the microphone to offer some words of neutral levity to a heated City Council debate.
“I always try to be patient and understanding,” DiStefano said. “The story never ends. Life can be a great pleasure.”
- 24 HRS
- 7 DAYS
- 30 DAYS
- New kiosk to assist Stony Creek cyclists - Sterling Heights
- Trial continues for man accused of shooting acquaintance - St. Clair Shores
- Center Line begins search for new city manager - Center Line
- Pub Crawl will raise money for Madison Heights Memorial Day Parade - Madison Heights
- GM nets big tax break in Warren - Warren
- Rock community ready to roast local show promoter - Roseville
- Farewell to the Field event takes a look back - Clawson
- Tour the chocolate factory with Lamphere High’s ‘Willy Wonka’ - Madison Heights
- Bank robbers detained after high-speed pursuit - Harrison Township
- Kroger receives approval for $25 million marketplace - Royal Oak
- Selfridge’s 127th Wing to fight Islamic State - Harrison Township
- Military museum announces upcoming event plans - Eastpointe
- Stolen wedding ring a fake report, police say - St. Clair Shores
- Police investigate fatal single-vehicle crash - Shelby Township
- Construction continues at Macomb Mall - Roseville
- Frankenfoods: Are GMOs as scary as people think? - Metro Detroit
- Man in skeleton hoodie robs 7-Eleven - St. Clair Shores
- Jump for Trevor helps teen in need of a heart transplant - Southfield
- Berkley, Huntington Woods rank in top 10 places to live in Michigan - Berkley
- Stolen wedding ring a fake report, police say
- Henry, longtime police K-9, to retire April 17
- Construction continues at Macomb Mall
- Berkley, Huntington Woods rank in top 10 places to live in Michigan
- NAMM award is sweet music to UCS
- Madison Heights couple receives keys to Habitat home
- Rock community ready to roast local show promoter