Government flags across Fort Bend County were ordered to be flown at half staff on Monday in honor of longtime Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella, who passed away Sunday at 79 after a brief illness.
Scarcella was first elected mayor of Stafford in 1969 and was the longest continuously serving mayor in the United States. Those who knew him said he was proud of his community and promoted Stafford at every opportunity.
He had served as mayor over the city of Stafford for more than 50 years and was only the third mayor in the city's history.
During his tenure, he helped develop the Stafford Center and school district.
Scarcella served his country in the Texas Air National Guard, a branch of the United States Air Force.
He was a graduate of Texas A&M University and University of Houston Law School.
He practiced law for over 53 years in Stafford.
“Nancy and I were deeply sad to learn of Mayor Scarcella’s passing today," U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) said on Monday.
"He was a great ally to much of my work in Congress and his steady leadership of Stafford will be deeply missed. His legacy of public service will always be revered in our community and will continue to inspire the leaders of tomorrow. May he have eternal fair winds and following seas in heaven.”
Scarcella's funeral -- Mass of Resurrection -- will be held Thursday, July 2 at 11:30 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church located at 1501 Fifth Street in Missouri City.
There will be a visitation on Wednesday, July 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the same church.
Both events are open to the public, but there are only 250 people allowed inside the church at one time. Those who attend must wear masks when entering the church. Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances and exits.
For those unable to attend, the funeral will be live-streamed on the city of Stafford's website, Facebook and YouTube pages. You can also watch the funeral on SMETV Comcast Channel 16/AT&T U-verse Channel 99.
Members of the Stafford Police and Fire Departments will serve as pallbearers.
Scarcella will be laid to rest next to his mom and dad at Forest Park Lawndale’s Garden of Gethsemane located at 6900 Lawndale St.
A reception will follow at the Stafford Centre located at 10505 Cash Road.
Flowers and cards may be sent to Earthman Southwest Funeral Home located at 12555 South Kirkwood Road, Stafford, Texas 77477. Donations may be made to the Stafford Historical Society, P.O. Box 2286, Stafford, Texas 77477.