Robert “Rob” Pozzi was superman to his colleagues. He was a father, husband and horse lover.
And to the people of Bureau County, he was the voice of the “regular citizen.”
Pozzi, 51, of rural Spring Valley ended his battle with a rare form of blood cancer Wednesday at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He represented District 24 on the Bureau County Board since 2000, and in the last two years, fought a battle with myelodysplastic syndrome.
But Pozzi didn’t let this life-threatening situation alter the way he contributed to his community as he was active on the county’s law/assessment and transportation committees and devoted the rest of his time to his family.
Remembered as the feisty board member who always spoke his mind, and a loving husband and father, Pozzi will live on through the hearts of many.
“Rob was unafraid. He was funny, smart, and one-of-a-kind,” remembers life-long friend and former board member Dean Devert of Ladd. “To a lot of people, he was our superman. On the county board, Rob was never afraid to speak his mind, talking for the regular citizens of Bureau County. He was unique.”
Pozzi gave 110 percent to whatever it was he wanted to accomplish, Devert said. He played a critical role in getting Hall Township’s Echo Bluff Park & Recreation Area, just off Route 29 between Spring Valley and DePue, functioning as it is today with hiking trails, paintballing, and ice-skating rink.
Another life-long friend and fellow board member Mary Jane Marini (D), of Spring Valley, who served with Pozzi for 10 years, said she’s going to greatly miss Pozzi’s personality when addressing an issue.
“It was never a mean feisty,” recalls Marini. “He just wanted to speak on what he believed in. It was so much appreciated to see someone be so passionate about politics and the board. He sat in the front row and never ceased to amaze all 26 of us board members.”
Ronald “Tom” Dobrich (D), of DePue, who has served with Pozzi for two terms, added that Pozzi was always knowledgeable when contributing to the business of the county.
“He was well-liked by everyone and will be missed,” said Dobrich. “When dealing with issues facing the county, he always asked good questions and provided additional information to help make better decisions.”
Anyone who knew Pozzi, knew he was proud of his family. He loved making Bureau County a better place to live and work, but also loved spending time with his wife and daughter working with horses and traveling the show circuit throughout the summer and on various weekends.
“He was the toughest guy I knew, and if anyone could beat cancer it was Rob,” Devert said. “It just proves we’re all mortal. He will be greatly missed.”
Katlyn Rumbold can be reached at (815) 879-5200 or email@example.com.