A Democratic Lion Has Passed Away

Charles “Chuck” Porpiglia had no peer in the Democratic Party of Chautauqua County over the past fifty years plus. He will never be replaced in the hearts and minds of those of us who were able to call him friend or mentor.

Over Chuck’s half century span laboring for the party, there was nothing Democratic in our county that wasn’t within his purview. Those of us working to elect Democrats could always count on the “did you ask Chuck” question when strategy and election plans were being made.

But Chuck was so many things besides being Mr. Democrat.

There was never a person who reached out needing help that he didn’t help. Sometimes it was Social Security and sometimes it was the County Home and sometimes it was a pothole. As a part time representative for both Democratic Assemblymen Bill Parment and Rolland Kidder, Chuck doggedly found answers and solutions for state, local and federal problems people faced.

As a County Legislator for twenty- five years, he was the lion of the legislature. Standing for principals of the working families of our county, Chuck was selfless in all of his actions. The lion was a highly skilled practitioner of parliamentary procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order and used his knowledge to pass legislation or protect those who needed a protector. He was a true labor leader and the working people of Chautauqua County both in and out of government had one elected leading light they could count on.

Chuck and his wife, Mary Ann, always welcomed anyone at the door with a cup of coffee or a sandwich, or possibly you were lucky enough to be welcomed for a Sunday meal with the family at the basement dining table. One felt special indeed when breaking bread with the Porpiglia’s, but truth be known was that everyone could expect to be welcomed to the family table.

Our leader is now in heaven with his buddies Jack Dillenburg, Frank Gawronski, Chet Tarnowski, Tony DiRusso, Nin St. George and the other so many Dems who have passed. Bill Parment, Rolly Kidder, Ned Divine, me and many, many other proud Dems are planning to join Chuck one day in that special Democrats only room up there.

Chuck Porpiglia was a family man first and foremost. On behalf of Democrats near and far, I take pause to thank Mary Ann and the children Virginia, Joe, Chuck, Mike and the entire extended family for sharing your dad, grandpa, great grandpa, uncle and husband with the Democrats all these years.

Norm Green is chairman of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee.


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