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Local community pays homage to former county commissioner Todd Portune

Posted at 11:45 PM, Jan 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 13:55:47-05

CINCINNATI — Todd Portune, former Hamilton County Commissioner, 61-year-old father of three and elected public servant for nearly three decades, died Saturday evening, according to a statement from his family.

Portune's death came after a long battle with cancer. He announced his retirement from his position as county commissioner in September, telling reporters that his cancer had returned and chemotherapy could not stop its spread. He officially resigned on Dec. 31, and his chief of staff, Victoria Parks, took over as commissioner.

After the announcement of his death, local officials from both sides of the political aisle expressed their sorrow, condolences and memories of the man who never lost an election and who tirelessly spent his career championing for the needs of average citizens.

Commission President Denise Driehaus called Portune "a tireless champion for all people" who "has left the world a better place through his long legacy of care and love for Hamilton County."

Commissioner Victoria Parks, Portune's former chief of staff who was appointed earlier this month to finish his term, described him as "a force of nature" and "a phenomenon of motion, from his scholastic years running like the wind and exalting in victory with a grin, until the times when health limited his mobility to crutches and finally a wheelchair."

"Rest, Todd, you have crossed the finish line in first place in the hearts and minds of all that knew you. Well done! Good and faithful servant," Parks said in a statement.

Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas said in a statement she will miss Portune's "wisdom, his kindness and his perseverance. May the members of his family and friends find comfort and healing during this sad time. Hamilton County mourns with you.”

I would call to check in on him, and even late into his battle with cancer, he would always want to talk about big issues that we should be working on together. (1/3)

— P.G. Sittenfeld (@PGSittenfeld) January 26, 2020

A public visitation will be held Monday, February 3 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm with a service immediately following at 12:00 pm at Duke Energy Convention Center. Portune will be buried at Spring Grove Cemetery.

Portune's family said donations can be made in his honor to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati.

Arrangements are being handled by Spring Grove Funeral Homes.