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Dunbar mayor dies

DUNBAR – Mayor Herman Izzo has died. The beloved Dunbar native passed away Wednesday at the age of 85. His friends remembered him as a gentleman who always wanted to help and always wanted to improve life in Dunbar.

He leaves behind a legacy of service to the borough. Izzo became mayor in 1970, served two terms, then served two terms as council treasurer. In 2002, Izzo began his third term as mayor.

Soon after beginning his current term, Izzo said of council, “I hope we can get together and work for the good of the town. Once we can get together, this town will be better. A lot of things have to be done in the borough to bring it up to how it should be.”

He, council and residents made progress during his 17-month term.

Dunbar held its first Community Fest, which drew hundreds and will be repeated this September; the borough instituted child and bicycle identification programs and council has applied for grants to receive a police car and improve the playground and ball field, among other projects.

“We need something for the children,” Izzo said. “They’re going to be our future politicians and if we treat them right, they’re going to have a good beginning.”

“Herman has been involved in the activities of the borough for years,” said councilwoman Kathy Dynes. “He had nothing but the best wishes and intentions for the community. He did so much for the children. He is a living tribute to himself through the borough children, the residents and his family. He was a very good man.”

“I enjoyed working with Herman,” said John Maddas, council president, shocked to learn of his death. “He’s been a very good leader in the community, involved for a long time. He and his wife have been involved for a long time.”

Izzo shared his experiences with Maddas. “He told a lot of interesting stories about the old times, when Dunbar was a boomtown. He said that in the older days, kids didn’t have to worry about the law, but about their parents. Things are the complete opposite now. It was always good to talk to him. Sometimes, today, we forget those things about the old times and the riches old people have to share. When you’d go to his house, he was always welcoming.”

Dunbar native Peggy Zadell called Izzo a “very nice gentleman, a true gentleman. I’ve known him most of my life. He knew my father. Any time I talked to him lately, we talked about my family. He would stop by and tell me stories about my family that I didn’t know, and I appreciated that.”

Her husband, Frank Zadell, serves on borough council and worked closely with Izzo on the police committee. “That was a shock to hear Thursday morning. Herman loved Dunbar. He was a lifelong resident. He’ll be sorely missed by everybody who knew him. He always came up with good ideas and suggestions for the police department. He ran the police department. I always went to him for counsel.”

“He was a good friend. I’m really going to miss him,” Frank Zadell said. “He would stop up if he saw me out cutting the grass. He was very congenial, well liked and a staunch supporter of our community. It was always a pleasure to be around him. My deepest sympathies to his wife and family.”

Izzo served his church faithfully. He belonged to St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church. His priest, the Rev. Ed McCullough, remembers him fondly. “He was very active in our parish. I’ve known him for 17 years. He was more than a handyman. He was a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, and a stone mason. He did all of them for us. He could do anything in the parish and did.”

Izzo served as usher and greeter. McCullough said, “One parishioner told me, ‘I’ll miss my kiss.’ He gave a kiss to the women, a warm handshake to the men and a big smile to the kids every Saturday night.”

His faith ran deep. McCullough said that Izzo’s favorite expression started, “If God wants. . .” “He’d say, ‘If God wants. . .I’ll be here tomorrow, I’ll do this for you.’ He was totally committed to the Lord.

“He also told people when he was leaving, ‘Now, remember, if I can do anything for you, just call.’ He said that to some folks the night before he died,” McCullough said.


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