Former Collier County Commissioner John Pistor dies

Nick and Marion Carsillo talk with former Collier County Commissioner John Pistor at Konrad's Seafood & Grille Room on Tuesday night. They were at the restaurant awaiting election results. Pistor was the first commissioner from Marco Island.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Nick and Marion Carsillo talk with former Collier County Commissioner John Pistor at Konrad's Seafood & Grille Room on Tuesday night. They were at the restaurant awaiting election results. Pistor was the first commissioner from Marco Island.

Former Collier County Commissioner John Pistor passed away early Friday morning. He was 95 years old.

Pistor served on the board of county commissioners from 1976 to 1988.

“John frankly was at the forefront of most of the major decisions that were made during the time that the county really began to explode from a growth perspective,” said Neil Dorrill, who was county manager or assistant county manager while Pistor was a commissioner. “John helped create the county EMS system. John was a pivotal vote to help create the county water and sewer district.”

Born in Montclair, N.J., he graduated from Cornell University in 1938 with a masters in engineering. During World War II he was one of the engineers who worked to develop the bomb sight on the Enola Gay.

He married his wife Alice Howell in 1940, and they were married for 61 years before she passed away in 2001.

Before moving to Collier County, Pistor was an executive for Eastman Kodak Company. He retired as the worldwide coordinator of the motion picture and education market division in 1974 and moved to Marco Island.

While on the Collier board, Pistor lobbied hard for the creation of the Alligator Alley interchange at State Road 29, Dorrill said, which provided hurricane access from Marco Island and commerce opportunities for Immokalee’s agricultural areas. He also started a campaign to widen Collier Boulevard into four lanes.

Pistor had a hand in the creation of county beach parks at Tigertail Beach, Clam Pass and Barefoot Beach, and a swap that gave the county ownership of the Marco Island airport in exchange for giving land in the Fakahatchee Strand to the state for a park.

“He was very, very conservative,” Dorrill said. “While he had a very pleasing sense of humor, ... he was very Ronald Reaganesque in terms of his fiscal principles.”

Pistor is survived by his son Bob, granddaughters Shannon and Stephanie, family members' spouses, nephews, neices and three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother and sister, his wife and his oldest son, John Jr.

A memorial services will be held at the United Church of Marco Island at 10 a.m. on Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in his name to the 4H Club of Collier County or the Deerwood Foundation c/o Leonard Thompsen, 213 South Street, Porsmouth, NH 03801. 603-430-7707

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