Courtesy photoAl Teglia

Daly City to remember former mayor, longtime civil servant Al Teglia

Former Daly City Mayor Albert “Al” M. Teglia died at his Roseville home on Sunday, after a long battle with cancer. He was 83.

Although his many years of civic engagement earned him the nickname, “Mr. Daly City,” Teglia's reach extended beyond Daly City's borders to help shape countless Peninsula and Bay Area programs, agencies and charities.

A child of Italian immigrants, Teglia was born in Colma and in 1949 moved to Daly City, where he attended Jefferson High School. He then earned a degree from College of San Mateo, and was hired by the San Mateo Union High School District, where he worked for 38 years. Teglia served three terms on the Jefferson Union High School board of trustees from 1967 to 1976, and was board president from 1969 to 1971.

Teglia, who also worked for the San Mateo County Human Services Agency, served five terms on Daly City's City Council, including four terms as mayor.

Teglia married his childhood sweetheart, Verna Mae Kunz, in 1953, and was her caregiver before she died in 2006. Two years after the death of his first wife, Teglia married longtime friend Frances Foglia. In a previous San Francisco Examiner article about Teglia, Daly City Department of Library and Recreation Services Director Joseph Curran noted that Teglia was reinvigorated by his marriage to Foglia, who gave him “a new lease on life.”

Curran credited Teglia with playing an instrumental role in the formation of both Caltrain and SamTrans transit agencies. Teglia served on the SamTrans board of directors, where Daly City Mayor David Canepa said the former mayor made “courageous” decisions. The Italian Catholic Federation is among the many other organizations whose boards Teglia served on, and it was under that group's auspices that he launched the Gifts of Love program, which provides funds to help developmentally disabled people live more independently.

Teglia also started the Jobs For Youth program, which began in Daly City, but was eventually adopted by San Mateo County. Other Daly City initiatives spearheaded by Teglia included the Daly City Public Library Associates, and dental programs for uninsured children and seniors at the Mike Nevin Health Center.

Although friends say Teglia didn't like to take much credit for himself, he received numerous honors over the years, including the Easter Seals Humanitarian Award, the Daly City-Colma Chamber of Commerce Special Humanitarian Award, and the Community Kindness Award from South San Francisco's Sitike Counseling Center.

The longtime resident additionally holds the distinction of being the first man to receive special recognition in the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame, and in 2012 he was one of six individuals who received a Community Quarterback award from the 49ers and NFL Charities. In 2013, the Daly City City Council declared Teglia's birthday, June 27, to be Al Teglia Day in perpetuity.

Foglia said her husband's beloved rescue cats, Pia and Dolce, were at his side until the very end. Although Teglia's funeral will be private, his life will be publicly celebrated Monday from 2 to 5 p.m. at City Hall in Daly City.

In lieu of flowers, Teglia's family suggests making donations to the Italian Catholic Federation Gifts of Love Program, the Daly City Public Library Associates Fund or the Al Teglia Jobs for Youth Endowment Fund.

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