Bensenville mourns longtime community leader, activist
The Bensenville community is mourning the loss of one of its most active residents.
Oronzo Peconio, 67, the president of the Fenton High School District 100 school board, died Sunday, more than a week after suffering a heart attack on Jan. 6.
Peconio and his wife, Concetta, were making plans to celebrate their 48th anniversary at the time.
"He was a great, great husband. He spoiled me rotten," Concetta said. "We met on May 3, 1969, and I haven't put gas in my car since. And if it was snowing or raining, he drove me to work. I couldn't have asked for a better husband."
Their son, Joseph, said he couldn't have asked for a better father.
"He taught me everything. But, most importantly, he taught me to do everything to the best of my ability," Joseph said. "He also taught me to be a good person and to treat everyone like family. That's what he did. He loved everybody and everybody loved him."
In a statement to the community Wednesday evening, District 100 Superintendent James Ongtengco said he shares the community's grief.
"Oronzo was not only a warm and caring human, he was a fine board member and leader. He was a Bison and bled Orange and Blue," Ongtengco wrote. "Oronzo was ubiquitous: he was at the athletic and club events, Special Olympics, Padres Unidos, Przyjaciele FHS, musical and band concerts, parent conferences, first day of school, Food for Families, etc."
The front page of the district's website features Peconio's photo and thanks him for his service since he was elected in April 2017.
Peconio also served as president of Bensenville Fire Protections District 2 from 2007 to 2009, and was elected in 2009 as a village trustee. He was one of three candidates for village president in 2013.
"Oronzo truly had a heart bigger than the village of Bensenville and truly gave all of it to the fire protection district," Fire Chief Mike Spain said. "He remained vigilant as a friend to the district. His passing is a great loss to not only the district, but to the entire village."
Peconio served on the Bensenville/Wood Dale/Franklin Park Kiwanis since 1995. He also served on the board of directors of Friends of Handicapped Children since 1975.
Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at The Montclair-Lucania Funeral Home at 6901 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago, where prayers will be said. A Mass will be said at 9 a.m. Monday at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Bensenville followed by interment at Maryhill Cemetery in Niles.