SPRING HILL – When it comes to listing pioneers of early Spring Hill, some names come immediately to mind.
Realtor Patricia Fleck, whose name was synonymous with community involvement, and Harold G. Zopp, who had a Spring Hill library named for him, are two who had a huge impact in the community.
Tony Mosca Sr., who founded the Spring Hill Home and Property Owners Association, also belongs in that pioneering group. Mosca died Monday at the age of 87.
Right up to the end, despite being afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, Mosca was involved in his beloved Lion’s Club, one of his favorite organizations.
His zest for life continued well into his later years, said his son and former county commissioner Tony Mosca Jr.
“I remember dad as a go-getter – somebody who had a dream and followed it all the way to the end,” the younger Mosca said. “He always inspired me to do the best I can. He gave it his all in any task that he undertook.”
Born in Providence, R.I., Mosca met his future wife Mary in Watertown, Mass. where he became a police officer. After being injured, he retired and moved to Hernando County around 1973 and almost immediately became involved in the fledgling community called Spring Hill.
His love affair with the area took hold while he had been selling real estate for the Mackle Brothers and Deltona Corporation, which developed Spring Hill in 1967.
“He soon learned to appreciate the life he had and longed to retire in the lovely community of Spring Hill and encouraged his children to follow him to keep his family close together,” said Mosca, who served as Hernando County commissioner from 1990-94.
In the 1980s, the elder Mosca founded the Spring Hill Home and Property Owners Association, which took on the job of enforcing deed restrictions in Spring Hill.
Around 1990, he convinced the then-Spring Hill Civic Association to take over that role. He eventually merged his organization with the civic association, which at that time was a potent political force in the county.
“That was the closest thing to local government that we had,” Mosca said.
Mosca Sr. was an avid golfer and is credited with getting the first hole-in-one at Spring Hill Country Club.
Former County Commissioner June Ester remembers Mosca Sr. as a kindly gentleman.
“He was the kind of guy who, when he saw you, would tip his hat to the ladies, give up his seat and always had nice things to say about you. He was a nice, sweet man. They need a lot more like him nowadays.”
Ester said Mosca Sr. owned much property in Spring Hill and was a partner in an ownership group that sold the land where the Publix now sits at Mariner and Northcliffe boulevards.
Ester agreed that Mosca was a pioneer in Spring Hill. He is survived by son Anthony Jr. and his wife Kathy, daughter Liz and her husband Jerry, three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The family will hold a private funeral service for Mosca on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Dawn Center of Hernando County domestic violence shelter, at P.O. Box 6179, Spring Hill FL 34601.