Frank Galioto, 41, director of Councilman Frank Rizzo's constituent services operation, died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday while visiting his parents in Florida.
Council staffers were in shock at the news that the well-liked colleague, known for his self-deprecating humor and dedication to this work, was gone.
"He was so good at helping people, and it wasn't a job -- he loved doing it," Rizzo said Wednesday morning.
Susan Conboy, who worked with Galioto in Rizzo's office from 1999 to 2004, had nicknamed Galioto "The Scam Spotter," because he could sniff out a scammer from a mile away.
"He told the best stories," said Conboy, who now worked for Councilman Jack Kelly. "And it was always self-deprecating, about him and the kids."
Galioto was just telling stories on Monday about his participation in a reenactment of the Stations of the Cross at Our Mother of Consolation Roman Catholic Church near his home in Chestnut Hill. Galioto laughed that he was the only adult around to carry the cross, which was too heavy for the children. He had to lug it a mile and a half of the five-mile procession on Good Friday.
Colleagues said Galioto was not quite himself at work on Monday, before flying out to Jacksonville Tuesday morning.
"He was a little quiet," said Stewart Graham, Rizzo's office manager, who hired Galioto in 1998.
Services and burial are expected to be in Galioto's native Pittsburgh.
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