Robert Antonetti Sr.

[Age 70] He served as Howard and Prince George's elections administrator.

March 03, 2007|By Jacques kelly | Jacques kelly,sun reporter

Robert J. Antonetti Sr., an elections administrator in Howard and Prince George's counties, died of a heart attack Feb. 24 at Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton. The Upper Marlboro resident was 70.

Born in New Haven, Conn., he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame. He earned a master's degree in music education from the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.

He joined the Holy Cross Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order, and taught history and music instruction in its schools from 1954 to 1970, including Forestville's Bishop McNamara High School.

After leaving the order, he was briefly a Prince George's deputy sheriff. His duties included serving as a bodyguard and driver for County Commissioner Frank Aluisi.

"He got to know the who's who of the county that way. It was great exposure," said a son, attorney Robert J. Antonetti Jr. of North Potomac. "He was a Democrat, but he was nonpartisan in his approach. He treated all parties fairly."

Mr. Antonetti became administrator of the Prince George's County Board of Elections in 1970 and took on the same job in Howard County from 2000 until 2004.

Mr. Antonetti was the subject of news stories in the mid-1990s when he was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine for an ethics offense related to his Prince George's job. After a long legal wrangle, he paid the penalty in 2004, telling The Sun, "I can't keep paying money out [in legal fees] forever. That's the way the state does things. They run you into the ground."

At his death, Mr. Antonetti was interim Prince George's elections administrator and worked in his office the day before his death.

A funeral Mass was offered Wednesday at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Upper Marlboro, where he was a member of the parish council and Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, the former Mary Catherine Nooney; two other sons, John Paul Antonetti of North Beach and Edward Antonetti of Upper Marlboro; a daughter, Theresa Trigiani of Burtonsville; a brother, Richard Antonetti of Watertown, Conn.; two sisters, Maria McMillian and Linda Muzio, both of North Haven, Conn.; and three grandchildren.

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