SPRINGFIELD, Mass, (WWLP) – Condolences continue reaching out to loved ones, following the death of former Springfield City Councilor and longtime neighborhood advocate Clodovaldo Concepcion, known to all as “Clodo.”
Born in Cuba 90 years ago, Clodo, as he was affectionately called by all, not only served on the city council but was an advocate for his neighborhood of Sixteen Acres. So much so, the Sixteen Acres Community Center was named in his honor. Both the city council and Mayor Domenic Sarno honored Clodo with their words Monday.
“He loved his neighborhood, Sixteeen Acres and Pine Point. He was a neighborhood leader. He never looked for fanfare at all. He just wanted to provide for the welfare of businesses and residential needs,” said Sarno.
Concepcion dedicated much of his life to bettering the Springfield community. He spent seven years fighting for the rehabilitation of what is now The Clodo Concepcion Community Center on Parker Street.
“Phenonenal, he did so much work in the neighborhoods and the community, and he was a personal friend. We had coffee sometimes together, we talked, we laughed. Him and his wife came to the center all the time,” said Community Center Coordinator Alice Martin.
In a full statement sent to 22News, Mayor Sarno said, “First of all, my wife Carla and I are so very sorry to hear about the passing of our dear friend former City Councilor Clodovaldo ‘Clodo’ Concepcion. We send our sympathy, thoughts, prayers, and encouragement to his wife Theresa, daughters, family, and friends. Adorned in his trademark hats, the Cuban-born Clodo loved our city and his 16 acres of neighborhood and ward 5 areas. He never looked for fanfare and no one worked harder for seniors, veterans (a proud Air Force veteran himself), quality of life, and public safety issues than Clodo. His hallmark 7-year effort to save and rehab the Greenleaf Community Center – ‘he literally would sleep there’, and advocate for any and all officials on the federal, state, and local levels for the proper funding. Years later, the community center would aptly be renamed in his honor, The Clodo Concepcion Community Center. Clodo also worked very closely with my administration to build the state-of-the-art Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center. Clodo would only speak when necessary – ‘he was a gentleman of action’. Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed, but rest assured your legacy and spirit for fighting for the common person will live on.”
Congressman Richard Neal sent 22News the following statement, “I am saddened to learn of the passing of Clodovaldo ‘Clodo’ Concepcion, a steadfast activist for the City of Springfield, and a true embodiment of the American dream. After immigrating to the U.S. from Cuba, Clodo went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force before settling in his beloved Sixteen Acres neighborhood. I was fortunate to become acquainted with Clodo while he was a student of mine at STCC. His advocacy on behalf of Sixteen Acres, Ward 5, and the greater Springfield community was truly remarkable. My thoughts are with his wife, Theresa, and the entire Concepcion family during this difficult time.”
City Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce stated, “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend former City Councilor Clodovaldo ‘Clodo’ Concepcion. I send my sympathy, thoughts, prayers and encouragement to his wife Theresa, daughters, family and friends. Mr. Concepcion’s life is a shining example of community involvement and making a difference. Mr. Concepcion arrived from Cuba in hopes for a better life and went right to work raising his family, and immediately got involved with the City of Springfield and our community. A testament to his lifelong record of service to our community was recognized by Mayor Sarno when the former Greenleaf Center was renamed to the Clodo Concepcion Center. Mr. Concepcion was a proud Air Force veteran and he worked hard for seniors and veterans. I want to salute Mr. Concepcion on a life well lived and thank him on behalf of thousands of young people in which the lives he has touched.”
Information about funeral services has not been released at this time.