Stow City Councilman and local businessman Dennis Altieri died Saturday at the age of 68.
Altieri is the former owner of Altieri's Pizza, which his parents opened in 1965 in a blue building across the street from its current location on Kent Road. He took over the business in 1998 and retired in 2017, when he sold the pizza shop to longtime employee Matt Barkis.
He graduated from Stow-Munroe Falls High School in 1971 and attended the University of Akron.
He was first elected to represent Ward 1 on Stow City Council in 2019 and was re-elected to his seat on Nov. 2.
Community members shared their condolences on social media.
"My heart pours endless love to the Altieri family today as we lost a man so many of us knew and loved," Barkis, the current owner of Altieri's Pizza, wrote. "I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to work along the side of Dennis and the Altieri family for all these years. Forever grateful for all he taught me and the memories we shared. This man did more than you’ll ever know."
Barkis' post had 230 comments as of Monday morning, including ones that called Altieri "a wonderful man," "a community icon" and "a true gentleman who loved our community and was loved by the community."
Council President Sindi Harrison wrote that Altieri "had a big heart and cared deeply for his family, friends and the City of Stow. My family and I are saddened to hear this news and are keeping his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers."
Councilman Mario Fiocca wrote: "Dennis was a great guy that I was proud to call a friend. Dennis was an avid golfer and I enjoyed playing with him on many occasions at Fox Den."
According to the Stow City Charter, vacancies, for any reason, are filled by a majority vote of all remaining members of City Council. Altieri's Ward 1 seat must be filled by someone from that ward.
Harrison said she is discussing the Ward 1 vacancy with the law department on Tuesday, and it is likely the seat will remain vacant for the remaining two meetings of the term. Altieri's second term was to begin Jan. 2.
Council will recognize Altieri's service to the city at the upcoming council meeting on Wednesday, Harrison said.
Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, email@example.com or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Stow Councilman Dennis Altieri dies Saturday