State Rep. Dimitri Polizos passes away
State Rep. Dimitri Polizos (R-Montgomery) passed away Wednesday morning after suffering a massive heart attack Tuesday afternoon.
Polizos, 68, was first elected to the District 74 seat in a special election in December 2013. He was re-elected in 2014 and again in November. Polizos served on the Montgomery County Commission from 2004 until his election to the House.
Born and raised in Montgomery, Polizos graduated from Troy State University, as it was known then, with a degree in business. He was the gregarious owner of Mr. Gus’ Ristorante, specializing in Greek and Italian food, as well as “home cooking.”
Elected officials across the state mourned Polizo’s death on Wednesday, honoring a friend, colleague, champion of conservatism and small business and a family man with “a true servant’s heart.”
“Representative Polizos was a man of honor and distinction. He was first and foremost a proud family man and member of his community,” Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement. “He was a successful small business owner who believed in hard work and treating people the right way. Each day when he went to work in the State House he took that viewpoint with him and served the people of his district with their best interests in mind. His presence will be missed.”
Polizos is survived by his wife Dorothy, three children and five grandchildren. Funeral services have not been announced at this time.
The governor said, “My prayers for peace and comfort are with his wife Dorothy and their family during this difficult time.”
Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) released a statement, saying, “Rep. Polizos leaves behind a lasting legacy of public service that others would do well to emulate.”
McCutcheon’s statement as follows:
Dimitri Polizos was a man with a true servant’s heart, which was on full display whenever he was filling the needs of his constituents in House District 74, the residents of the Montgomery County Commission district he once represented, or the customers in the many landmark restaurants he owned and operated.
Quick with a smile and an encouraging word to all he met, Rep. Polizos was a unifying and positive force in the Alabama House, and his presence and big personality will be deeply missed.
Memories of Rep. Polizos bring to mind the words in Matthew 23:11 – 12, which read, ‘The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.’
Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to his family and his scores of friends who can all rest assured in the knowledge that Rep. Polizos leaves behind a lasting legacy of public service that others would do well to emulate.
House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) released a statement, saying, “Rep. Polizos was universally respected, liked, and appreciated by members on both sides of the political aisle, which offers true testament to his innate kindness and easygoing nature.”
Ledbetter’s statement as follows:
The members of the House Republican Caucus are profoundly saddened by the loss of our friend, our colleague, and our fellow lawmaker, State Rep. Dimitri Polizos.
Throughout his legislative service, Rep. Polizos demonstrated his commitment to the conservative principles and ideals that remain at the core of our Alabama Republican Party, and he worked each day to ensure that the needs of his legislative district were met.
A tireless worker for both his constituents and his customers, Rep. Polizos would often spend all day representing his district in the Alabama State House and devote all night to serving the patrons of his famous Mr. G’s restaurant.
In the sometimes partisan and rancorous atmosphere of the Alabama State House, Rep. Polizos was universally respected, liked, and appreciated by members on both sides of the political aisle, which offers true testament to his innate kindness and easygoing nature.
House District 74 is better for having had Dimitri Polizos as its state representative, and all of us who served with him are better for having had the privilege of calling him our friend.
The thoughts and prayers of all of the members of the House Republican Caucus remain with his family at this time of great loss.
Secretary of State John Merrill said in a Facebook post, “This morning, Cindy and I were so very sad to learn of the passing of our dear friend Dimitri Polizos! I first met Dimitri in 2013 after his election to the Alabama legislature! As a member of the House of Representatives, I had the privilege to sit by him during his first term in office! We frequently visited Mr. G’s Ristorante and he was always there and always joined us during our meal! We will miss him, his smile, and his words of encouragement more than I can express!”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn