Patrick Ungaro dies at 78
By BETH SHILLER
LIBERTY — Longtime Valley politician Patrick Ungaro died Friday night at the age of 78.
According to his son, Eric, Ungaro was battling cancer and died at home.
Ungaro served as Liberty Township administrator since 2002. He resigned in June to focus on his health.
“He wanted to work until the end,” said Liberty Trustee Jodi Stoyak. “He didn’t want to quit, but his health was important.”
Stoyak met Ungaro in 2004 when she was first elected as trustee and she said Ungaro took her “under his wing and and taught me the ropes.
“I sent him a letter summarizing our past and my appreciation of his mentorship. I’m very sad. It’s really hard, I’m going to miss him greatly,” Stoyak said.
Before serving in Liberty, Ungaro served as Youngstown mayor from 1984 to 1997, making him the longest-serving mayor for the city.
Liberty trustee Arnie Clebone said he met Ungaro in the late 1980s while he was mayor, and they worked on a few projects together before coming together in Liberty.
“He was always wanting to see new development; he was innovative. We didn’t always agree, but he was incredibly supportive,” Clebone said. “I am grateful that he was there. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Clebone said he admired Ungaro’s ability to work with lots of diverse opinions and said he lives by an adage that Ungaro once told him: “Do what you think is right, and you can’t go wrong.”
In addition to his time in politics, Ungaro was a teacher in the Youngstown City School District, before becoming mayor, and was the assistant principal at West Elementary School between his time as mayor and his time with Liberty.
Howland Township administrator Darlene St. George said Ungaro took over as Liberty administrator from her.
“Pat was a great guy. He was very knowledgable and accomplished so much in his career,” St. George said. “I was pleased he took the reins from me because I thought he was just what Liberty needed. Economic development was his passion.”
She said Ungaro will be missed by many people, including her.
“He would have kept working if he could have. Work was his joy,” St. George said.
Funeral arrangements are pending.