Belli honoured at first city council meeting since his death
With members of Belli's family looking on from reserved seats at Tom Davies Square, Mayor Marianne Matichuk made it through most of her tribute before finally breaking down in tears.
“Fabio was the youngest member of this council, but as we were quick to learn, what he lacked in age, he more than made up for in passion and energy for this great city.”
Belli, 37, passed away of an apparent heart attack while in Florida to take his parents, Gianfranco and Franca Belli, home to Canada. He and wife Susan have two young children, Emma and Brianna. Belli had recovered from a stroke he suffered in November, had dropped more than 30 pounds and was committed to a healthier lifestyle.
As was the case on Monday during the planning committee meeting, a bouquet of flowers was placed on the table where he sat during his time on council.
Matichuk broke down while addressing Belli's family, thanking them for the short time Belli was able to serve on city council.
“It was an honour to know him,” Matichuk said, choking back tears. “We will remember Fabio always in this chamber and in our hearts.”
Sobbing could be heard across the city council chamber as a minute of silence was held in his honour. Council recessed as his family was formally given a book of condolences signed by residents across the city.
Belli was elected in Ward 8 in 2010, beating nine other candidates in a ward left vacant when incumbent Ted Callaghan ran for mayor. Despite the crowded slate, Belli won with 1,991 votes, more than twice as many as the nearest challenger.
He was a graduate from St. Charles College and earned a diploma from Cambrian College in business management. He owned such businesses as Just Soccer, BMI Custom Apparel & Promotional Products and T-Zone Vibration.
Always passionate about sports, Belli was working on a multi-million-dollar domed sports facility for St. Charles College when he passed away. After a few years of hard work, he was set to announce in May that funding was in place for the facility and construction would begin this spring.