Raymond C. Sittig(1929 - 2012)

Raymond C. Sittig (Continues)

Former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham said, "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Ray Sittig, a passionate and tireless voice for Florida's communities. The concept of home rule came to the forefront during my years as Governor, and that important idea had no more effective advocate than Ray. Policy set in Tallahassee and Washington is often applied at the local level, and I could always rely on Ray's leadership to make sure Florida's municipal leaders understood the opportunities those policies presented. Ray also became a personal friend and Adele and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Sittig family."

Raymond C. Sittig was born April 8, 1929, and was raised in Michigan as one of eight children. After serving in the Navy shortly after the end of World War II and during the Korean War, he attended Michigan State University. He initially planned to go to law school and enter politics, but eventually determined he would help people become more knowledgeable about their government by going into public administration.

Sittig spent two and a half years as assistant city manager in Grand Rapids, Michigan, before applying for a position in Fernandina Beach. A former mayor of that city who was then executive director of the Florida League of Municipalities saw his application and urged him to come work with him at the League. Sittig said he didn't think he would be interested in the job because of his long-time desire to become a city manager so he could help people understand their city government.

When the executive pointed out that a position with the League meant Sittig could work for all cities at once, his decision was inescapable. Ray Sittig began work at the Florida League of Municipalities on February 1, 1959, and embarked on a lifetime of excellence in service to the diverse communities of Florida.

Sittig is survived by his wife of six decades, Betty, and their five sons and daughter Michael (Marty), Mark (Kathy), William (Jill), Ronald, Dennis and Paula Gerry (John), as well as many beloved grandchildren and great-grandchild. Eldest son Michael is now executive director of the Florida League of Cities.

A memorial service for Raymond Sittig will be held on Friday, November 16, 2012, 5:00 p.m. at Culley's Meadowwood Funeral Home, 1737 Riggins Road, Tallahassee, Florida, 32303. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida, 32308.

Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Nov. 14, 2012