Longtime member of the Senate family, John ‘J.J.’ Piskadlo Jr., dies unexpectedly
The senior legislative aide to Sen. Tina Polsky passed away unexpectedly June 17.

John "J.J." Piskadlo
The senior legislative aide to Sen. Tina Polsky also worked for other Democratic South Florida lawmakers over the years.

John Joseph “J.J.” Piskadlo Jr., a senior legislative aide to Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky, died unexpectedly June 17 at the age of 52, leaving behind a wife and young daughter.

Piskadlo spent his career in public service, working as a congressional aide and then in the state Legislature. It’s believed that he suffered a heart attack while visiting the beach — his favorite place — before he died, Polsky said.

Losing him so suddenly was taking a toll, she added.

“My staff and I are devastated by the loss of J.J.,” Polsky wrote in a text. “He was a mentor and friend to everyone in the process and he was loved and respected by all. He made me a better Senator and I miss him terribly.”

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, in an email to the Senate and its staff, called the Delray Beach resident “a dedicated public servant for decades” and a member of the Senate family.

He had worked for Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book for many years, Passidomo said. She said he worked in the Senate offices of Kevin Rader and Jeremy Ring and also Rep. Irv Slosberg, all South Florida Democrats.

“Please join me in keeping J.J.’s family, Sen. Polsky and all who knew him in your prayers during this most difficult time as they grieve this sudden and unexpected loss,” Passidomo wrote in her email message, noting that his daughter, Mariana, is just 10 years old.

Piskadlo and his wife, Lina, had been married for 17 years, his obituary says.

Piskadlo, born in Malden, Massachusetts, aspired to be a Floridian early on, according to his obituary.

“Since a child, John always wanted to live in Florida and enjoyed doing so, frequently going to the beach, collecting fish and swimming with his family,” the obituary says.

Piskadlo graduated from Louisiana State University and later earned a master’s degree from the University of South Florida.

He is also survived by two brothers and nephews.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

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