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"We're all shocked": Naples remembers John Passidomo following tragic death

The husband of Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo died from injuries from a fall while hiking a national park in Utah.
Posted at 9:43 PM, Apr 04, 2024

NAPLES, Fla — Leaders and prominent groups in Naples are mourning the sudden loss of John Passidomo, a prominent civic leader and husband to Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. He died this week in an accident during a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Passidomo, 72, fell and suffered massive trauma to his head, among other very serious injuries on April 1. He was airlifted to a regional trauma center with serious injuries, died approximately 24 hours later, according to a memo sent to all Florida Senators and Senate staff.

Leaders at the Collier Community Foundation, where Passidomo served as chairman in the 90s, expressed shock at his passing.

"He's been a person we could go to, brainstorm with, talk with about issues and problems in the community. He was a caring and gentle person. It is really sad," said Connolly-Keesler, President and CEO of the Collier Community Foundation.

"Our hearts really go out his wife Kathleen and the whole family because they're going to miss him and this community is going to miss him," she added.

Passidomo was a well-known figure in Naples, having served on the city council in the 90s and practicing law for over 40 years as a respected attorney in Collier County.

"He was a council member, he was a vice mayor, he was on the planning advisory board, he was the attorney who helped start the CRA," Naples Mayor Theresa Heitmann told Fox 4's Naples Community Correspondent Mahmoud Bennett. "He really, I would say was the brains and the hard work in the development in this area."

Heitmann said she had known the Passidomos for a long time. "He was our neighbor, and my heart goes out to them," said Heitmann.

Up until his passing, Passidomo was working as a real estate lawyer at Cheffy Passidomo.

In a statement to Fox 4, the firm's leader described him as a "blessing":

"I have been honored to practice law with John for the past forty years. He was a dear friend, a supportive partner, and one of the great blessings of my life. He brightened and enriched the lives of people he worked with, and he made our community a better place. Most of all, I admired and respected his relationships with and devotion to Kathleen and their three daughters. Farewell to a great man, a charming gentleman, a commanding presence, a class act, and a life well-lived," said Edward K. Cheffy.

In a social media post, Senator Kathleen Passidomo shared their last photo together, expressing gratitude for the outpouring of love, support, and kind words from the community.