YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Calling hours for Pat Ungaro brought the community together Wednesday to remember the longtime Valley politician.
Colleagues joined friends and family Wednesday to say goodbye to the Valley politician.
“I hate to see him go,” said longtime friend Jim Miller. “It’s a part of life but boy, this is a tough one.”
Some of his fellow politicians met him over 25 years ago.
“When I was a little boy, I remember talking to him and I had no idea that he was involved in politics at all,” State Sen. Michael Rulli said. “Then when I found out he was the mayor, I was actually really blown away because of how down to earth and humble he was.”
Miller can’t remember when he met Ungaro.
“I’ve known him for so long, I can’t remember exactly how far back that goes. Maybe high school? I’m not sure.”
They came together to pay their respects to the former Youngstown mayor.
“He fought corruption at a time when Youngstown needed that,” Rulli said. “I think Youngstown needed to start healing from all the corruption that we had throughout the years.”
“He was such a straight shooter, so you knew you had somebody who was looking out for the best interest of the city or the township,” Miller said.
He said Ungaro is leaving a legacy.
“All the changes that have taken place in downtown Youngstown, you have Pat Ungaro to thank for that.”
Even people who didn’t know Ungaro until he was the Liberty Township administrator remember how he was for the township.
“We do a lot of ribbon cuttings in the area and when we did them in the Liberty area, Pat was always there. Even for the smaller businesses, he would take time to come,” said Regional Chamber account executive Mark Kholos.
“Whatever he represented, he looked out for that,” Miller said. “He didn’t look out for himself and I think that says a lot about the guy.”
“Just today, inside the church, it was standing room only,” Rulli said. “I think he moved a lot of people’s hearts, and I think he made Youngstown a better place than it was and I think that will be the legacy.”
The family is holding another calling hours Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon at St. Edward’s on Tod Lane in Youngstown.
Immediately following, there will be a funeral mass for the family.
Shortly after Pat Ungaro died Saturday, his son, Eric, sent out a message saying his father had a great run — and that he did.