More than 100 people overflowed outside a packed St Joseph Church funeral service for former Leeton councillor Sam Ciccia on Wednesday.
Mr Ciccia passed away suddenly though peacefully at home on Thursday, December 14, 2017, aged 79.
Leeton mayor Paul Maytom paid tribute to a popular family man who continued to serve his community after retiring from Leeton Shire council in 2012.
“I had the pleasure of working with Sam for 21 years on the council.”
“He was always trying to help people in the community. He had the heart and the soul.”
“Even when he has finished his time on council, he would often come back and drop off fruit and vegetables to us.”
Leeton Deputy Mayor George Weston, who sat next to Mr Ciccia on council, said he was grateful for the way he shared his considerable farming knowledge.
“Coming from Sydney, I appreciated how Sam always found the time to sit and explain agricultural issues to me”.
“He gave me an understanding of those members of the community who lived on farms. It was very useful for someone like me who lived in the centre of Leeton”.
Mayor Maytom echoed these sentiments, saying “Sam would always look out for the smaller towns within the shire, and make sure their views were being heard”.
The mayor also pointed out Mr Ciccia’s community service extended well beyond council, as he advocated for the rights for farmers as chair of the Canning Fruitgrowers Association.
“He was a representatives for a lot of people in a lot of different ways”.
Despite the pressure of multiple roles, Mr Ciccia was known for never losing his cool.
“I can’t remember ever seeing him get angry… he was always so astute... it’s such a sad loss,” Mr Weston said.
In 2012, Mr Ciccia was presented with an outstanding service award for having completed a cumulative total of at least 20 years' service to local government.
Mr Maytom also said it was great that Sam’s son Tony was now continuing his legacy by serving the community on Leeton council.
Mr Ciccia was a loved and devoted husband of Tonetta.
He was the loved father and father in law of Michael, Domenica, Tony and Melissa, Joseph and Donna, and Maria and Peter Moran. Cherished Nonno of Antonio, Teresa, Maria, Salvatore, Isaac, Anna, Isabella, Gabriel, and Luca. Dear brother and brother in law of Giuseppe (dec'd), Michele (dec'd), Antonino (dec'd), Lena DiSalvatore, Zena Demarzo, Angelo; Giuseppe Pantano, and their families.
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