Longtime Strongsville Councilman Michael Daymut, 72, dies 6 days after resigning

November 20, 2018

Longtime Strongsville Councilman Michael Daymut, 72, dies 6 days after resigning

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Michael Daymut, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who represented Ward 1 on Strongsville City Council for more than 25 years, died due to illness Friday. He was 72.

Daymut died within a week of resigning from council on Nov. 10. He had not attended a council meeting since mid-July.

Mayor Thomas Perciak said Daymut suffered a heart attack in early September, after council had ended its August recess. He called Daymut a “true public servant.”

“He led by example,” Perciak said. “Many of our council members, both past and present, chose Mike Daymut as a role model, because of his integrity, honesty and his forthcoming personality.

“He was a rare find in the political arena because he told you what he thought,” Perciak said. “He was a man of conviction and he truly loved the city of Strongsville.”

Council President Joe DeMio said Daymut was a “matter-of-fact guy” who made himself thoroughly familiar with all ordinances and resolutions that went before council.

“He always shared his opinion and he wanted to hear what your thoughts were, even if they were the polar opposite,” DeMio said.

“I’ve always said that even if I got mad at Mike, he was a guy I could never stay mad at,” DeMio said. “He had a great gift. He was the ultimate gentleman.”

Perciak said DeMio was married to his wife June, a retired Strongsville City Schools aide, for 45 years. The couple had two daughters, Julie Daymut and Mary Vitt, and two grandchildren, Mackenzie and Michael.

“Other than council meetings, wherever Mike was, June was with him, by his side,” DeMio said.

Daymut was born in 1946 in Cleveland and was raised there before his family moved to Warrensville Heights. He graduated from Warrensville Heights High School. 

Daymut served in the U.S. Marine Corps for two years, then was a driver at UPS for 33 years. He lived in Strongsville for about 40 years.

He was first elected to council in 1992, and was a council member when he retired from UPS. He was last re-elected November 2015, when he ran unopposed. He was council president from 2011 to 2015.

Daymut was council’s representative to the Strongsville Planning Commission for seven years. Until he resigned, he was chairman of council’s Economic Development and Building and Utilities committees, and a member of council’s Planning, Zoning and Engineering Committee.

Perciak said Daymut was involved in the original planning of SouthPark Mall in the mid-1990′s. In January 2017, Daymut and then-Councilman Ken Dooner, along with Perciak and Economic Development Director Brent Painter, toured SouthPark after anchor tenants Sears and Macy’s announced store closings in other cities.

At the time, Daymut’s Economic Development Committee formed a subcommittee to focus on the economic health of the mall and the SouthPark property. Sears eventually shut down its SouthPark store.

“Mike was instrumental is helping obtain grants for the widening of (Ohio) 82 and Pearl Road, just because of his longstanding commitment to Strongsville, and people knew of Mike statewide,” Perciak said.

DeMio said Daymut made sure that basic services were provided to his Ward 1 residents.

“He would point out that maybe a street needed to be salted or re-salted, or that trash pickup was missed,” DeMio said. “Things like that mean a lot to people. I learned a lot from him on that.”

Councilman Matt Schonhut agreed, saying, “I have heard countless stories from residents about how Mike was there to help them in a time of need.”

Daymut was the longest-serving council member among the current group, and was on council when Perciak was first became mayor in 2003.

Daymut helped teach Perciak, a political novice at the time, how to be a public official, even though Perciak was a Republican and Daymut was a Democrat.

“He never let party affiliation get in the way of doing what was best for the city of Strongsville,” Perciak said. “I can’t put into words how I valued the time he spent with me.”

Schonhut said Daymut took him under his wing when he was first elected to council. He said Daymut never expected anything in return.

“Mike was an encyclopedia of the city of Strongsville,” Schonhut said. “I could always go to him and ask why things were done in a certain way in the past, and he would always have the answer.”

Daymut was also active in the community, attending and volunteering at most events organized by the city and civic groups, Perciak said. He was a trustee for the Strongsville Historical Society and member of the Strongsville Chamber of Commerce.

“He was an icon, a great man who was always there for his residents,” Councilman Gordon Short said. “We will miss his institutional knowledge. In serving on council 27 years, he knew how things worked.” 

In addition to his wife, daughters and grandchildren, Daymut was survived by son-in-law Andrew Vitt and brother Jack Daymut and his wife Bonnie. He was also an uncle and cousin.

Visitation is scheduled for Saturday from 2-7 p.m. at Jardine Funeral Home, 15822 Pearl Road, in Strongsville. Afterward, the family will have private memorial and burial services. The family asked that no flowers be sent, but condolences can be expressed at jardinefh.com.

Council is seeking a replacement for Daymut. The replacement will finish Daymut’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2019. Applicants must live in Ward 1 and should submit cover letters and resumes to the Clerk of Council, 16099 Foltz Parkway, Strongsville, 44149. They can also submit application material to aimee.pientka@strongsville.org.

The deadline to submit cover letters and resumes is noon Nov. 30. Council is expected to appoint Daymut’s replacement in December after interviewing applicants.

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