Community mourns ‘Godfather’ of Troy

Tony Pallotta served 31 years on Troy City Council

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 4, 2015


Last week, the Troy community said goodbye to Tony Pallotta, who was known affectionately around town as the “Godfather of Troy” in part because of his Italian heritage and in part for his tough stance on various issues.

Pallotta, 87, died Feb. 24 of complications from a brain tumor. 

“He knew everyone, and everyone knew him,” said Troy Community Affairs Director Cindy Stewart. “Everyone loved him.”

Pallotta served in World War II in the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy and volunteered on the Troy Veterans Committee.

He began his public service when he was appointed to serve on the city’s Liquor Advisory Committee in 1968. He also served on the Board of Zoning Appeals, as president of the Council of Troy Homeowners Association and Glenmoor Civic Association and was a founding member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.

He was first appointed to the council to fill an empty seat in 1972 and then was elected to serve 10 three-year terms, which ended in 2003. Council members and the mayor are now term limited.

“He was the longest-serving council member,” said former Troy Mayor Louise Schilling. “No one will beat that record. He was very proud of that.” 

He owned and operated a TV sales and service business. Leadership Troy named Pallotta as Troy’s Most Distinguished Citizen in 2005. Schilling noted that he took great pride in being part of the 4-3 vote to allow Beaumont Hospital to expand in Troy.

He was a 2,000-hour volunteer in the Emergency Center at Beaumont Hospital, Troy.

“He held strong opinions, but people liked that about him. He was very pleased about the Community Center and felt it was a great service to the community,” Schilling said. “He was a delightful man.”

“Tony would be tough,” said former Troy Mayor Jeanne Stine. “He said it like it was.”

Stine said Pallotta met his wife, Marilyn, who preceded him in death, by “ringing the wrong doorbell.” He and Marilyn were married for 62 years and raised three children. Stine described him as a strict and loving father.

“He loved to sing and dance,” Stine said. “He had a beautiful voice and was a good dancer.

“He really felt strongly about the city. He was a true statesman.”