By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Condolences for Mayor Daniel Paletko, 70, continued to pour in from local elected officials following this death due to complications from COVID-19.
The news was posted on the city’s Facebook page Dec. 30 announcing that Paletko died late Dec. 29 with no further details.
A public viewing was held at the Warren Valley Banquet Center, 26116 Warren Ave. Jan. 3 followed by a funeral mass the next day at St. Linus Church, 6466 N. Evangeline.
Multiple vehicles and employees from the city’s police, fire, and other departments were part of the motorcade before Paletko was laid to rest at St. Hedwig Cemetery Jan. 4.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Paletko can be made to the Dearborn Heights Rotary, Dearborn Heights Goodfellows, or St. Linus Parish.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans posted a message on his Facebook page following Paletko’s death. “We mourn the loss of Mayor Daniel Paletko and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of Dearborn Heights,” he said.
“Another life taken by COVID-19,” U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-13th District) wrote on her Facebook. “My heart goes out to the family of Mayor Dan Paletko and our Dearborn Heights community. I hope we all can come together to find strength during this very difficult time. Rest in peace, Mayor.”
State Sen. Betty Jean Alexander (D-5th District) posted, “My condolences to the family and friends of Mayor Dan Paletko (Dearborn Heights). May he rest In peace.”
The Dearborn Heights District 7 Board of Education and staff offered their condolences to Paletko’s family and friends.
“A strong relationship has been built between the schools and the city in the last few years,” the Facebook message read. “Our district will remember the support from Mayor Paletko in building these strong community relations. We recognize and appreciate his service to our community.”
With his death, Council Chairwoman Denise Malinowski-Maxwell became mayor pro-term for the remainder of Paletko’s term. Councilman Bill Bazzi became Council Chairman.
Malinowski-Maxwell held a Dec. 30 press conference at the Dearborn Heights city hall building where she said it was a sad day for family and colleagues of Mayor Daniel Paletko and for residents of the city.
She also asked those in attendance and watching via live stream for a moment of silence.
“Dan was a respected voice, not just in the community but at the county, regional and state levels as well,” Malinowski-Maxwell said. “While we will miss his expertise, his political savvy and his commitment to our community I’m confident our team will come together to continue our task of representing and serving our residents in the best way possible.”
Paletko served as mayor since 2005 being re-elected in 2009, 2013 and 2017. He was a long-time public servant. He was elected to the state House of Representatives that year, but resigned in 2004 to become mayor upon the resignation of Ruth Canfield.
Paletko is retired from Ford Motor Co. where he was a financial manager. He was a certified public accountant and holds degrees from the University of Michigan, University of Detroit and Wayne State University, the city’s website said.
Paletko was a member of the Knights of Columbus and an active usher at St. Linus Parish.
He is survived by two daughters, Marie and Ann Paletko; his sister Claudia Cassidy; and brother Gerard Paletko. He was predeceased by his parents, Stanley and Helen Paletko.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])