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St. Clair Shores mourns death of Councilman Peter Rubino

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 28, 2020




ST. CLAIR SHORES — A man known for his love of family and the city he called home, Peter Rubino, died April 27. 

A member of the St. Clair Shores City Council since 2009, Rubino, 53, was battling cancer.

He leaves behind his wife, Renee, and their two children, Olivia and Matthew, who are students at Central Michigan University and Lakeview High School, respectively.

In a letter posted on St. Clair Shores social media channels, Mayor Kip Walby said that his friend passed away far too young and will be greatly missed.

“I am going to miss him and his fiery personality,” Walby writes. “You always knew where you stood with Pete, because he was extremely honest and upfront with everyone. Pete was a man of integrity.”

A financial planner, Rubino was first elected to City Council in November 2009 and was most recently reelected in 2017. 

“He cared deeply about keeping the government accountable and honest,” Walby writes. “He was a man who believed in service and he lived out that belief in his everyday life.”

Walby said April 28 that there is always a void left in the absence of people like Rubino.

“When you’ve got a person ... that (has) integrity, it’s a big loss,” he said. “He worked for the average person. He worked for the residents. He wanted to make sure that government was there for the people.”

Rubino was passionate about bringing Blossom Heath Park back to life, Walby said, and worked toward that with the renovation of the beach house with the Tax Increment Finance Authority, or TIFA. He also brought fun events to the city through his work with the Cool City Committee. 

Sometimes it was the little things that Rubino was best known for working to solve, Walby said, like a tree that needed to be removed or a piece of sidewalk that needed to be replaced.

“That’s what you’re going to miss. Those are many times what’s really important to people,” he said, adding that Rubino was also a “big fan of businesses” in the city. “He was always trying to support them, make it easier for them to operate in the community and he would fight for them.”

He said that Rubino was a “humble man” who was so proud of his children and adored his family and his wife, a childhood friend who became his “sweetheart” more than three decades ago. 

“He enjoyed attending Olivia’s (dance) recitals and watching Matthew play football for Lakeview,” Walby recalled in his post. “Often, we would watch together in the stands during September and October, enjoying the crisp air and the sense of community.”

Walby said that, in addition to being a “voice of reason” for City Council, Rubino was personally a sounding board and confidante to Walby and a “source of good counsel.”

“He will be dearly missed by me, City Council, and the entire City of Saint Clair Shores,” Walby wrote. “Please pray for the family in this difficult time.”