Eugene ‘Gene’ Tutora, a popular community leader known for his vast knowledge of construction, has passed away.
Tutora, was a Community Board 11 member for the past decade and had served as president of the Chester Civic Improvement Association which represented Pelham Gardens.
He was 85 when he died on Saturday, January 16.
At CB 11, Tutora was the chairman of the Housing Committee and co-chairman of the Land Use Committee.
Tony Vitaliano, chairman of CB 11, said that Tutora, who had been on the board since 2002, encouraged him to join CB 11 and get involved in the community.
“He is kind of my mentor because I would not be on the board if it were not for him,” the chairman said, adding that Tutora was very community orientated.
Vitaliano said that Tutora, who made a living as a contractor, often put his knowledge and expertise in the field to good use while on CB 11.
“One thing is for sure, whenever there was a problem with a (building) location and or with land use, he would go to the Department of Buildings office on Arthur Avenue,” said Vitaliano. “He was very conscientious in whatever task he was given to carry out.”
The chairman said that Tutora often offered his advice and perspective on situations and is already missed for those reasons.
Morris Park Community Association president Tony Signorile, also a member of CB 11, recalled that both he and Tutora hailed from Belmont, and that he had known Tutora throughout his 20 years of community service.
“When he wanted something, he went after it,” said Signorile. “He was a stand up guy who fought for what he believed in.”
Tutora was a life long resident of the borough, born on September 28, 1930 to Nicholas and Filomena (nee Espositio) Tutora, according to a biographical material provided by Joseph Lucchese Funeral Home.
He was married on October 25, 1953 to his wife, Antoinette Criscuolo, who survives him.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter Laura Lacy-Thompson; sons Nicholas and Eugene; grandchildren Joseph Tutora, Elinor Tutora, Nicole Lacy-Thompson and Olivia Lacy-Thompson.
His daughter said that he was a devoted husband and grandfather, and that her father was the life of any party.
“He had a big personality and he liked to tease people all the time, but it was always in good fun,” she said. “He was a wonderful grandfather, and he loved his grandchildren very much and he was very devoted to them. He was married to my mother for over 60 years.”
Tutora was waked at Lucchese in Morris Park and his funeral mass is at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, January 22 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Belmont.
Tutora was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Korean Conflict.