EDITOR’S NOTE: The following has been updated to include funeral details.

Sanibel Police Officer Anthony Neri passed away of natural causes at the hospital Monday, May 6, after collapsing during a training exercise.

Our hearts and minds are truly heavy with the passing of Officer Neri,” said Councilman Richard Johnson in his invocation at opening of the City Council meeting Tuesday, May 6. “Although valiant attempts were made to keep him with us, he passed from this life to the next with his family by his side.”

Neri began is career with the City of Sanibel in 2012, as a police aide, and two years later was promoted to officer. He was a past recipient of the city’s perfect attendance award and elected by his peers to serve as their representative on the city’s Police Pension Board. He had earned CPR certification as a professional rescuer.

Prior to joining the Sanibel Police Department, Neri had a 30-year career as a revenue officer with the U.S. Department of Treasury. He also spent three years as a police officer with the Union Township Police Department in New Jersey.

Neri was preceded in death by his father, who was a police officer in Newark, N.J. He is survived by his wife and two adult children, as well as his mother, sisters and extended family.

The funeral will be at noon Wednesday, May 15, at Saint John XXIII Catholic Church, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. The public is welcome to attend the funeral mass. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife.

In his invocation, Johnson also acknowledged the recent passing of those who will be remembered for their contributions to our community:

Former City of Sanibel Director of Planning James Jordan; Berdina Thompson, who spent more than 30 years working with others to enhance our flora and fauna and is the mother of Arbor Day on Sanibel; Louise Johnson, former Sanibel mayor, vice-mayor, council woman and planning commissioner; and Larry Kiker, a leader in the neighboring city of Fort Myers Beach and chair of Lee County Commission.

May we keep in our hearts and minds the families and coworkers, who have lost a loved one recently,” said Johnson. “So many losses in such a short time for our community.”