River Cities Gazette

Longtime Virginia Gardens resident Marco Florio passes away

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Longtime Virginia Gardens resident Marco Florio passed away on March 16 while on a trip to Daytona Beach.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Longtime Virginia Gardens resident Marco Florio passed away on March 16 while on a trip to Daytona Beach.
Gazette Photo

River Cities Gazette

Last week time stood still as news that lifelong Virginia Gardens resident, Marco Florio, (38) died unexpectedly while on a trip to Daytona Beach for Bike Week. Florio who loved motorcycles, traveled to Daytona to enjoy the festivities and to celebrate his upcoming birthday. On the morning of Sunday, March 16th, Florio’s body was discovered and it was later determined that he died peacefully in his sleep. 

Marco leaves behind many people that loved him dearly; his mother Olinda Florio, older brother Jose, younger brother Steve and younger sister Triana, along with a nephew and niece that truly adored him, many relatives and many life-long friends.

Services were held at Bernardo Garcia funeral home on Bird Road on March 20, followed by a morning mass at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church and burial at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery in Doral the next day.  Hundreds of people, transcending a multitude of generations, ethnicities, and walks of life, came out to pay their respects, to honor their friend, and to support a grieving family. 

The mood was somber as it is when any young person dies too soon. Yet a brotherhood and camaraderie, and great love filled the air as everyone who attended shared at least one thing in common; they shared a love for the unique, one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable, and one-and-only, Marco Florio. 

“Marco, his mom tells me, was a good man,” said Father Alfaro of Blessed Trinity, as he addressed the overflowing church. “He was a man who loved bringing people together. His mother tells me that he used to love to roast pig, he loved to go fishing, and he loved to bring everyone together; and here he is, one more time bringing all of you together to pray for him.”

Florio grew up in the 80’s and the streets of Virginia Gardens and Miami Springs were his playground. He attended Miami Springs Middle School and Miami Springs Senior High School. As a child and a teenager, he was a soccer enthusiast and was known for his mischievous ways, to say the least. 

Through-out his life Florio had a tough guy exterior, yet his smile and multitude of friends tell a different story. Both are a clear indicator of the man that was on the inside; a kindhearted man, a man of honor, and a man with a heart of gold. 

Most people may not think of Marco Florio as a businessman, however he certainly was. Florio started National Credit Consultants many years ago, and chose to establish the company in his hometown of Virginia Gardens. Over the years, with Florio’s leadership and hard work, the company flourished. Boys that once played soccer with Marco would eventually become his employees. NCC became more than a business, they were family and Marco was the head of the house and sometimes, many times, the tough big brother who always loved his family.  

“I met Marco in Junior High and we've been friends ever since,” said Jacki Reyes Hull, a friend for over 25 years and also a business colleague in the early years of his credit counseling business. “He was a one-of-a-kind, genuine friend--someone you could always count on to lend a hand or be the grill master at your party. Losing him is like losing a part of all of us."

Florio invested in our community by investing in the lives of so many others. The last month of his life, Florio donated his evenings, and his pick-up truck, to assist Carl Bithorn, in transporting toilets all across town in the “flushing out cancer” Relay For Life fundraiser. He was an unsung hero on countless occasions; a humble person who never needed recognition for his acts of kindness; from bringing food to elderly neighbors to extending a hand to a brother in need.

  “I lost a close and dear friend; my best and closest friend. We have known each other since the 2nd grade,” said Rick Ramos. “We have stuck together through thick and thin. Marco rose to become a great man who had so much love for his family and friends. I will forever miss him and he will forever hold a special place in my life and in my heart.”

  While Florio was always there for a friend in need, it was family first for Marco and everyone knew it. Although he never married or had children, he did have two loves of his life; his nephew Nathan (11) and his niece Katie Bella (4). Spending time watching Nathan play basketball and protecting little Katie Bella were his favorite things to do. 

  This week would have been Marco Florio’s 39th birthday. His life here on earth ended unexpectedly and while he’s not here to blow out the candles, his family and his friends, will most definitely celebrate his life.  His life and his legacy will live on through each and every person that knew him. Marco taught us to never judge a book by its cover, to extend your hand to a person in need; to put your family first and that there’s always a reason to roast a pig and celebrate with your loved ones. 

Read more River Cities stories from the Miami Herald

BYE, BYE SUMMER: Last Monday, 6-year-old twins Sofia and Lucas Justo started the first day of the first grade at Springview Elementary.

    First day of school for a pair of first grade Miami Springs twins

    Last Monday marked the ever-anticipated first day of school and, wearing new clothes and with stuffed lunchboxes in hand, 6-year-old twins Sofia and Lucas Justo were off to first grade at Springview Elementary.

HOOPS FUN:  Flanking Heat mascot Burnie on either side, Medley Mayor Roberto Martell and Chief of Police Jeanette Said-Jinete helped lead the charge on Saturday morning, Aug. 9 when the town and its police force hosted the Third Annual Medley Police Youth Sports Basketball Tournament in the Miami Springs gym.

    Medley hosts Third Annual Youth Basketball Tournament in Miami Springs gym

    Even though there was plenty of basketball to be played and scores were kept, there were no real winners or losers on Saturday morning, Aug. 9 in the Miami Springs Community Center gymnasium when the Town of Medley held its Third Annual Medley Police/Youth Sports Basketball Tournament.

THUMBS UP:  Michael Pizzi was all smiles and in a great mood last week following his acquittal on federal bribery charges. When asked where he wanted to meet up with the Gazette on Monday afternoon to take a photo, Pizzi chose Medley Town Hall, where he served nearly two years as the town attorney.

    Former Medley Town Attorney Pizzi acquitted of federal bribery charges

    A year and one week from the day that he sat in the back of an FBI vehicle, handcuffed and under arrest on federal bribery charges, former Medley Town Attorney Michael Pizzi exited the Federal Courthouse in downtown Miami last week in an entirely different frame of mind as he was acquitted on all charges surrounding a federal bribery case.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK