“Often duplicated, never imitated.”
That’s how Victor Milani often described himself, said his sister Pam Milani, and how he will be remembered.
Milani, 62, died Friday at his Northfield home.
“He was one of a kind,” Pam Milani said. “His focus in his life was his community and his kids.”
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A Nordonia High School graduate, Victor Milani helped start The News Leader, which was first published in 1983, along with his sister Kim Masseria, who predeceased him. Pam Milani said running the newspaper “was a family affair.”
“In reading some of Vic’s old articles, I was amazed with how well he wrote, something he’d been doing since he was a teenager,” she said. “He had no formal training in writing or journalism — as he listed his education as ‘the school of hard knocks.’ He had a natural gift for it. He’d also said ‘in life, it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.'”
The biggest inspiration for Milani, his sister said, was their father Arch Milani, who died in 2016. The elder Milani also was in the news business.
The Milani family ran The News Leader until 1986, when it was purchased by Record Publishing Co. (Record Publishing was sold to GateHouse in 2017. The company merged with Gannett two years later under the Gannett name.)
“It was truly a family business,” Pam Milabi said. “Vic and I talked about this. It was a lot of hard work, but we said we’d do it again.”
Journalism wasn’t the only way Milani had followed in his father’s footsteps. He also served as the mayor for Northfield from 1999 to 2011, and served on the village’s Council before that.
“He was dedicated to his community,” Pam said. “Even after he left office as mayor, he still wanted to bring the news and the truth to the people.” She added that her brother embraced the digital technology available.
After leaving public office, Milani became vice president of NordoniaHills.news online. He left that online news platform and in March 2020 and launched his own online local news site, NordoniaNow.com.
Milani ran for mayor in 2015, but lost to incumbent Jesse J. Nehez.
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He is survived by his wife Irene, children Nick (Kayla), Sam and Katie, granddaughter Olivia, and mother Alice. As well as Pam (Mike Misciagna), Milani also is survived by sister Monica (Terry) and Masseria’s husband David.
Calling hours are Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Ferfolia Funeral Home, 356 W. Aurora Road in Sagamore Hills. Services will be celebrated Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home, and interment will be at Northfield-Macedonia Cemetery, 9804 Olde 8 Road in Northfield Center.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at [email protected]