Anthony Cazillo

Pequea Township supervisor Anthony Cazillo died suddenly in his home on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

Pequea Township residents and officials are mourning the death of township supervisor Anthony Cazillo.

Cazillo, 26, died suddenly Wednesday of natural causes in his home, county coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said. He had served on the Pequea Township Board of Supervisors since January 2019 -- most recently as vice-chair -- and received a majority of the Republican vote in the May primary to serve another term.

“There’s a real shock,” said Harry Lehman, the chair of the Pequea Township board of supervisors. “Anthony was a man beyond his age. He was very mature, caring, civic-minded, wanted to do for others. He was dependable. He was our vice chair, and it was for a reason.”

A GoFundMe has been organized to raise money for funeral expenses to help his wife and family. The fund has raised $9,300 of its $12,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.

Lehman said the board is “devastated” by Cazillo’s death.

“We loved him,” Lehman added, saying he talked to Cazillo every day of the week except Sundays. “It was just great having a young guy on our board. You don’t see that: A young man who knew what he was doing.”

According to the wedding registry website The Knot, Cazillo wed Katelyn Fox on May 21 in Manheim. 

In a post to Facebook on Wednesday, she wrote: “Words cannot describe how heartbroken and devastated I am today. My sweet, sweet Anthony passed away this morning so unexpectedly. One can only ask, ‘why?’, cry, be upset, but ultimately trust God’s plan, even though it makes you hurt, confused and unbelievably sad.”

While on the Pequea Township board, Cazillo served as the liaison to the township’s two fire departments, West Willow Fire Department and New Danville Fire Department. Both departments and its police department praised Cazillo in public social media postings. 

“He was such a wonderful young man who at only 26 years of age did so much for our community,”  Pequea Township Police Department posted on its Facebook page Wednesday. “Anthony, we will miss you greatly, thank you for everything you’ve done for Pequea Township. Your hard work and dedication will not be forgotten.”

When former Pequea Township supervisor chairman Don Purdum abruptly resigned in February 2020 following months of outrage from township residents over his effort to cut back its local police force, Cazillo briefly stepped in as chairman, telling LNP | LancasterOnline it was his goal to “Make Pequea Township boring again.”

“Local government should be boring and uninteresting,” Cazillo said.

Prior to his election to the board, Cazillo joined the township’s planning commission, Lehman said. He also led Millersville University’s College Republicans prior to his graduation in 2017, according to his LinkedIn page.

The board now has 45 days to appoint a new member to serve out the rest of Cazillo’s term, Lehman said.

Cazillo was employed by LNP Media Group, Inc. for two years as an advertising department employee. He most recently worked as a marketing director for a finance firm, according to his LinkedIn.

Cazillo was an active member of the Republican Committee of Lancaster County, most recently serving as the Penn Manor area committeeman and member of the Lancaster Young Republicans.

“Anthony was an exemplary member and young professional. His dedication to serving and improving his community are a shining example to us all,” the Lancaster Young Republicans posted on Facebook.

Lehman had hoped Cazillo would take over as chairman of the board after he left, he said.

“I wanted him to take my place, Lehman said. “I’m 69 years old. You got to have somebody in line. He was part of the succession plan. For [Cazillo to die], it’s backwards. It’s all upside down.”

Information about memorial services for Cazillo were not available as of Thursday afternoon.

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