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Obituaries

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Peter Sammarco

By Christine Zammarco

It started with a hoarse voice that seemed like part of a lingering cold that wouldn’t go away. Then one morning, Peter Sammarco, then 48-years-old, was shaving when he coughed up blood and right away knew something was wrong. After meeting with the doctors, Sammarco was diagnosed; it was throat cancer. Yet, rather than being concerned about what lay ahead, the Plainview history teacher, Rocky Point resident, father and husband met the challenge head on.

Peter Sammarco

“I was pretty hopeful,” he recalled at the age of 81, and speaking by projecting air through his diaphragm.

He was more upset about retiring from his job than he was about losing his voice or even the risk of dying, but Sammarco is from tough stock and from a generation which knew how to work hard and how to fight. He was born in 1930 during the Great Depression. He remembers the absence of his older brothers away serving in the military as he grew up. His Father, Petero, was a tailor and able to trade making suits in exchange for doctor and dentist visits or other services for the family.

As a boy, Sammarco would go to the tailor shop during his lunch breaks in grammar school and enjoyed conversations with two part time Jewish men who worked there — one of whom would become his mentor. The worker would give him history lessons and talk about Hitler and what life was like in Germany, where he immigrated from.

Between the knowledge Sammarco picked up from the workers and the letters he received from his brothers stationed overseas in different parts of the world, he was always learning about current events going on in the world. His teacher would often ask the young man, “how’d you know that?” The teacher even asked him to report current events to the class.

When his brother, Bob, whom Sammarco hadn’t seen in five years, came back from serving in the military, one of the first things he did was grab his younger brother by his collar and take him to St. Ann’s Academy school to enroll. It was an all-boys private school with a cost of $12 a month, which was a lot of money back then, but Bob and his father paid for it. Sammarco was always an above average student with good grades across the board. He graduated in 1948 and planned to go into the military, but again Bob had other plans for him, and took him to Queens College to enroll. He was only the second person in the whole neighborhood to go to college.

“I graduated Sunday, and the Monday after I graduated [the next day] I was sworn into the military,” said Sammarco.

He was in charge of communications in Korea for 17 months. The highlight of his time in Korea was helping the local orphaned children who had no food, clothes, or even underwear. He used his leadership to get the troops stationed there to build an orphanage. He went from tent to tent collecting money. Three days later, a truckload of clothes arrived.

“That was one of the best times of my life because they knew I was responsible for it,” said Sammarco.

The children were amazed by how fast the buildings went up, and Sammarco felt good to leave something of himself behind.

“I came home from Korea in 1954 on military discharge and I said, what am I going to do now?” Sammarco recalled.

Bob guided him and told him about a job at an insurance company. He did very well financially, but working sales wasn’t for him.

“I loved teaching. I always loved teaching,” said Sammarco.

He went back to college at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. He was only there a week when he was called to the office.

Peter Sammarco

“I asked, ‘was there a problem with my check?’ And they said, ‘no’ and offered me a job teaching,” Sammarco recalled. “I said, “but I’ve only been going to school here a week.” The new job was at an all-girls school, namely William Maxwell Commercial High School in Brooklyn.

He went in for the interview not knowing much about the position. Amazingly, they hired him on the spot.

“They didn’t ask me any questions, they said, here you go, room 401.”

He was in a class with 52 female students where Sammarco taught history for three years, but eventually it came time to settle down in the suburbs, and the commute to the city became too much. A friend helped him get a job at Plainview High School teaching history. He was there for 19 years. He spent his free time teaching at a Jewish community center and homeschooling sick children at a mental institution.

“The parents said he was such a wonder to their kids,” said his wife, Janet Sammarco.

One year, the journalist Geraldo Rivera ran a feature story about wanting to raise money for schools with special needs. Sammarco decided to throw a carnival at the high school and get his senior students involved. They raised $9,000 dollars.

“Some parents in Plainview say it was the best thing that ever happened to Plainview… that all the kids did something good,” said Sammarco.

But it was not just one single event that stands out to him. “The whole experience was rewarding,” he said. “Seeing kids grow. I had the same kids for a year so I could see the difference between when they started and the end. Plainview had really good students. Oh, they were bright. It was a good feeling, if you don’t get that feeling. Don’t teach.”

Sammarco still remembers receiving the news of his cancer and how the idea of having to resign pained him, as he would no longer be able to teach without a voice. The students all walked him out to his car on that last day.

“All the girls were crying,” Sammarco recalled. “That was a bad day, let me tell you… I loved teaching… that was very sad. I drive out of the parking lot and they were all waving.”

He had surgery shortly after, and the whole school waited for news. Someone made an announcement on the loud speaker, saying “Mr. Sammarco made it through the surgery, he is okay.”

They could have taken only one vocal cord and left him with a voice, because the tumor was only on one vocal cord, but it was large and if even meniscal traces were on the second one the cancer would have spread further. The operation saved his life. With speech therapy he started with a method using burping up air, one he learned to laugh about. His more recent pattern of projecting air became more natural, allowing him to verbally communicate.

“People would be scared and feel bad if they couldn’t understand what he was saying,“ said Janet Sammarco. “I think we were closer. He needed me more than ever before.”

It also brought the community together and showed him how many people cared. People came to him and prayed for him.

“Losing my voice didn’t affect the quality of my life. I can’t complain about my life. I was good to my country, I helped people grow, I’m very positive about my life,” said Sammarco.

The radiation from chemotherapy led to blood and kidney cancer years later. He believed the water he drank while in Korea that had been contaminated with gasoline also contributed. Drinking that water and smoking socially are his only regrets in life, but he says he wouldn’t have changed anything.

“Did I appreciated what I had? Not really. I do now. We take things for granted… after the third cancer I was like, O.K God, I get it,” He laughed lightheartedly with a big warm smirk.

Still a young man after the surgery, Sammarco still needed to work. Sammarco went on to be the groundskeeper at his local church, St. Anthony of Padua R.C Church in Rocky Point after resigning from teaching.

Sammarco passed away June 24. He was 88, and is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet; his children, Peter and Jennifer; two granddaughters, Jennifer and Christine; two great-grandsons, Connor and Bryce; and his only surviving brother, Richard.

He was preceded in death by his son Robert.

“I enjoyed the 19 years working at the church and planting trees… it wasn’t that bad,” Sammarco said. “The trees will outlive me, and people will look at them and remember me driving around on the tractor.”

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Charles Petrie

Charles McKenna Petrie of Ridge died June 13. He was 81.

He was the beloved husband of Marie Gallo-Petrie; cherished father of Daniel Petrie, Heather (John) DeTommaso, Maura (Peter) Cavassa and Meaghan (Donald) Lang; and he was loving grandfather of 14.

He is survived by many other family members and friends.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Mark’s R.C. Church following a private cremation.

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place. An online guest book is available at www.branchfh.com.

Peter Sammarco

Peter Sammarco, a Rocky Point resident and longtime educator at Plainview-Old Bethpage High School, passed away June 24. He was 88. 

Born during the Great Depression, he was a young member of the Greatest Generation. He was one of five brothers, whose ages spanned 25 years apart from youngest to oldest, to serve in the military during wartime. Sammarco was a veteran of the Korean War while his older three brothers, Joseph, Robert and Daniel, served in WWII, and Richard served in Vietnam.

Peter graduated from Queens College in 1953 and worked as a high school social studies and economics teacher at Plainview-Old Bethpage High School for 19 years. He also spent 20 years beautifying St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point.

Peter loved American history, in particular, studying the Civil War. He also loved gardening, reading and doing New York Times crossword puzzles.   

Sammarco is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet; his children, Peter and Jennifer; two granddaughters, Jennifer and Christine; two great-grandsons, Connor and Bryce; and his only surviving brother, Richard.  

He was preceded in death by his son Robert. 

A wake was held Wednesday, June 26 at O.B. Davis funeral home in Miller Place. A funeral is to be held at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, June 27.

Robert Smith

Robert J. Smith of Belle Terre and the founder of Buttercup’s Dairy Store in Port Jefferson Station, passed away peacefully June 21 with his family by his side. He
was 87.

Smith was born in Brooklyn and was raised in Queens. He moved to Long Island as a young man where he met the farmer’s daughter from Buttercup Farms and fell in love. They were married July 8, 1951

Together they continued the dairy farm and milk business. 

They founded Buttercup’s Dairy Store together in 1971 as a drive thru dairy and converted an old cow barn in 1975 to make the first walk-in store. Throughout the years countless family members, friends and neighbors kept the business running through the present day. Lines of present and former employees and customers visited the funeral home to pay respects.

He was the loving father of Linda, Robert Jr., Sharon and Richard; the grandfather of 12; and great-grandfather of 10.  

Services were held June 25 at Washington Memorial Park. Grandchildren from across the country flew in to pay their respects.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket.

Lauro Alcala

Lauro Macinas Alcala of Port Jefferson Station passed June 1. He was 88.

He was the beloved husband of Lourdes Alcala; cherished father of Eduvie (Ramon) Noblejas, Ceceila (James) Komosinski, and Neil (Tine) Alcala; loving grandfather of Olivia, Angelique, Gianna, Jonah and Zachaeus and is survived by many other family members and friends.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at Infant Jesus R.C. Church in Port Jefferson with interment following at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jeff.

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place and the Vigliante family. An online guest book is available at www.branchfh.com.

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Paul Edmund Keyes

Paul Edmund Keyes of East Northport died on June 1 at the age of 61. He was the loving brother of Marguerite “Peggy” Capobianco, Ann Brusca (the late Salvatore), John, Thomas (Amy) and Kathy Pileggi (Charles). A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday June 28 at 11 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport followed by burial of his ashes at Northport Rural Cemetery.

Audrey J. Blackman

Audrey J. Blackman of Huntington Station died on June 2 at 82 years of age. She was a proud registered nurse for many years; loving wife of the late William R.; beloved mother of William (Yael) Jr., Susan (Murray) Walters and Jill; cherished grandmother of Jenna, Cassidy, Fletcher, Catie, Taylor and Kyra. Visiting hours were held at Nolan Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Ave, Northport. A funeral service was held June 7 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Northport. Cremation was private.

Todd A. Hunter

Todd A. Hunter of East Northport died on June 8 at age 52. He was caring father of Abigail; loving son of Barbara Oestel (George) and Glenn Hunter Sr. (Kathy); beloved brother of Glenn Hunter Jr. (Cheryl); devoted uncle of Tori, Kate and Madelyn; dear nephew of George Dunn III (Sandra), Robert Dunn (Doreen), Kevin Dunn, Alex Hunter III (Jeanne), Jeff Hunter (Seaneen) and the late April Hunter. He is also survived by his step-brother John and his step-sister Kim. Visiting hours were held June 10 at Nolan Funeral Home. Funeral service was held June 11 with interment following at Northport Rural Cemetery.

Richard F. Siebach

Richard F. Siebach, longtime resident of Northport, died on June 4 at 87 years of age. He was the beloved husband of the late Cameron “Camy”; loving father of Robin, Richard Jr, Tracy Kazic and special daughter Sherylan Mathews; cherished grandfather of Chelsea, Marley Jade, Brianna, the late Rick III, Danica, Alexis, Alexander, Haley and Whitney; and dear great-grandfather of Rikki. 

Rick served his country with the U.S. Navy from 1949 to 1955. He belonged to the Northport Fire Department Hook & Ladder Co. from 1969 to 2006. During his tenure with the fire department, he served as captain for the rescue squad from 1976 to 1978 and also as captain of the fire police from 2002 to 2004. Rick also belonged to the Northport Yacht Club for many years and was a past commander of the Northport Yacht Club Power Squadron. Memorial was on June 15 at Nolan Funeral Home with Firematic services.

Charles J. Eder

Charles J. Eder of East Northport died on June 6. He was the beloved husband for 75 years of Helen; loving father of Charles (Tracey) and Helen (John) Johnson; cherished grandfather of Lauren (Josh Kovner) Betz-Kovner, Jimmy (Christen) Betz, Charles (Eliza) Betz, Gerald, Charles and Patricia. A memorial was held June 15 at Nolan Funeral Home. Donations to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org, in his memory, would be appreciated.

Ryan Walsh

Ryan M. Walsh died May 29 at the age of 30. He was the beloved son of Michael and Debbie; cherished brother of Eric (Julianne) and David (Jeanette). Visiting services were held June 3 at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport. Family and friends gathered at the funeral home June 4 for a funeral service led by Msgr. Steven R. Camp. Burial followed at Northport Rural Cemetery.

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Robert Hlavaty

Robert Costello Hlavaty, a beloved youngest brother of the Hlavaty family, passed away peacefully in Stony Brook surrounded by his loving family and close friends May 6 after a brief illness. He was 63.

Hlavaty was born Oct. 27, 1955, and spent his early years in Manhattan and Stony Brook and later on in upstate New York. He was a graduate of Ward Melville High School in Setauket and the Houston Marine Institute. Robert worked as a seaman and ship’s captain and then as a carpenter and project manager with his brother Neil G. Hlavaty, now deceased. Robert was also preceded in death by his parents, John and Katherine Hlavaty of Stony Brook.

He is survived by his children Scott Hlavaty (Jolene), Kerry Hlavaty (Jamie) and Carly Hlavaty; his sisters Katherine Delehaunty (James), Laurette Berry (Jonathan) and his brother John Hlavaty (Laurie Sandiford); his niece Elisabeth Delehaunty (Peter Cleary); nephews, David Berry, Peter Berry and Alexander Hlavaty Glazebrook (Bethany Reddy); and his grandchildren, Reece, Grace and Oliver.

Family said they will miss his friendly smile, his sense of humor and his easygoing ways. Rest in peace, Robert.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

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Shirley Weiner

Shirley Weiner, a resident of Port Jefferson for 44 years, passed away May 13 and was laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetery May 16. She was 87.

Weiner was born in Brooklyn in 1931 and lived in many different places before settling in Port Jefferson, including Brazil and the Azores Islands in Portugal where her husband served as a diplomat.

After raising four children, she went back to school to earn her master’s degree in social work at Stony Brook University. She worked as a social worker at Stony Brook University Hospital for 16 years before retiring. In her retirement, Weiner was able to develop her passion for watercolor painting and had several local shows of her artwork. She was also an avid reader and active member of the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library book club.

She is survived by her husband, Harry Weiner; her sons Robert, Daniel and Alex; her daughter Joan; their spouses; and 11 grandchildren.  

She will be greatly missed.

Nick Boba

Nick Boba, of Centerport, died May 6. He was 59. He was the beloved husband of Maggie, loving father of Jared and Justin and the dear brother of Stacey (Wayne) Kneussle. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport.

In Nick’s memory donations are appreciated to the Center for Developmental Disabilities, 72 South Woods Road, Woodbury, NY 11797 or one can donate online at www.centerfordd.org/donate/.

James Regan

James Nolan Regan, of East Northport, died May 10 at the age of 76.

He was the beloved husband of Peggy Ann (nee O’Brien); loving father of Peggy Ann (Michael) Gallagher, James (Kamala) Regan, Eileen (Russell) Murphy, Thomas (Marie) Regan and Jeanne (Christopher) Kozlowsky; the dear brother of Florence Keutmann and Dennis Regan and the late Thomas Regan, the late John Regan and the late Margaret Cahill; and cherished grandfather of Katherine, Michael, Emily and Ryan Gallagher; Claire, Molly, Kelly and Maggie Regan; Reilly, Brigid and Liam Murphy; Matthew, Brendan and Kaitlin Regan and Regan and Adelyn Kozlowsky.

Regan and his wife Peggy Ann were married for 55 years and were christened together 76 years ago. Jim retired as a lieutenant with the New York Police Department with his last assignment at the 81st precinct.

A funeral Mass was celebrated May 15 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in East Northport, followed with a  burial at Commack Cemetery.

People donating in his name can do so at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Clorinda Oates

Clorinda A. Oates, of Huntington, died May 15. She was 92. 

She was the loving mother of Susan (D.J. Young) Oates, Joseph Oates and Linda Jean (Gordon) Brown; beloved grandmother of Joe III, Gregory Oates, Melissa Oates and Derek and Robert Brown; and cherished great- grandmother of Colton and dear sister-in-law of Vera Carminati. 

She was reposed at Nolan Funeral Home, in Northport with a funeral Mass at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. Interment followed at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Huntington.

John Henesy

John K. Henesy, of Hauppauge, died May 6. He was 92. 

Henesy was the beloved husband of the late Catherine; the loving father of Kevin (Joanna), and Barbara Ann Etkin; the cherished grandfather of Nicole Henesy (Jason Stewart), Angela Henesy, Benjamin Etkin and William Etkin; and dear great-grandfather of Jayden. 

Visitation was held at Calvary Chapel Island of Grace in Holbrook. Funeral services were held at the church and he was buried beside his wife with military honors at Calverton National Cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Nolan Funeral Home of Northport.

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Adam Michael Smiles of Dedham, Massachusetts passed away May 12 after a 10-month battle with glioblastoma. He was 45.

He was the son of Peter and Bonni Smiles, and stepson of Janet Smiles, all of Port Jefferson. He was a graduate of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, class of 1992, and went on to get his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at SUNY Geneseo in 1996 and his master’s degree in pathology from the University of Vermont in 1998. For 19 years, Smiles worked as a senior data manager for the Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston. 

He was the beloved husband of Rebecca and devoted father to Brenna.

Smiles is survived by his brothers Joshua and Jacob Smiles of Durango and Denver, Colorado and his stepbrothers Eric and Michael Pashkow. He was preceded in death by his mother Bonni Smiles.

A memorial service and tribute was held in Dedham May 16.

Donations in Adam Smiles’ name may be made to caringbridge.org, to Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston or to the National Brain Tumor Society.

The above post has been amended May 24 to reflect the death of Bonni Smiles. We regret the error.

Ashley Massaro of Smithtown died on May 16 at the age of 39. Massaro is survived by her daughter Alexa. 

The former pro-wrestler, Playboy cover model and television actress, who competed on the popular CBS television show “Survivor,” most recently hosted a Saturday evening radio program called “Shark After Dark” for 94.3 The Shark station. 

Suffolk County Police 4th Precinct officers responded at approximately 5:20 a.m. May 16 to a report of a sick or injured person in Smithtown. Massaro was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. Homicide detectives determined the death was noncriminal.

“We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE superstar Ashley Massaro,” World Wrestling Entertainment said in a statement. “WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends.” 

Massaro, originally from Babylon, graduated from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School in the Town of Huntington and The State University of New York at Albany. At the age 25, she was chosen by WWE after its nationwide search for a female performer. Massaro performed for WWE wrestling circuit from 2005 to 2008 and posed for Playboy in 2007. In the same year, Massaro, then an East Northport resident, became a contestant on the television show “Survivor.”

The day before she died, Massaro announced on Twitter, “Just answered a ton of fan mail so you guys should be receiving them soon! Love ya punx.” 

Massaro was preparing to return to the ring, according to her March 20 Twitter post: “Gonna be bumping around the ring starting next week at @NYWCWRESTLING super pumped n ready to see what I got left in these ole boots of mine!”

Services were held Sunday, May 19, at the Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown. 

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Randy Burr

Randy D. Burr, of Port Jefferson, died May 12. 

He was the beloved brother of Sandra (John) Hartig and Kevin (Cathy) Burr.

Friends may call at Bryant Funeral Home, 411 Old Town Road, Setauket. Visiting will be Thursday, May 16 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Religious services will be held May 17 at 10 a.m. at Bryant Funeral Home in Setauket with interment following at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jefferson.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. Please visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Tamra Stoller

Tamra C. Stoller, Planned Parenthood leader, school board member and longtime Port Jefferson resident, passed away April 3 and was laid to rest April 5. She was 76.

Teacher, philanthropist, artist and mother, Stoller was an active member of the Port Jefferson community for over 40 years. She died from a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

From 1988 to 2011, she was a volunteer and leader at Planned Parenthood, serving on the board of directors of the Suffolk County chapter, chairing committees and acting as its first vice chair. She was board president from 1994 to 1996 when the Smithtown health center was purchased. 

She also played a leading role in the formation of Hudson Peconic Planned Parenthood, serving on its board of directors from 1998 to 2004. In 2017, Planned Parenthood honored her many contributions.

She was elected to the Port Jefferson board of education where she served from 1983 to 1989, and she is well-remembered by her son Mitchell and daughter Margot’s classmates at Scraggy Hill as the “singing French teacher.” She started her career as a French teacher in the New York City public schools, later earning a master’s degree in Spanish at Stony Brook. She was also an artist, creating works of fine jewelry for friends, family and for sale for over 30 years.

She is survived by her husband Dr. Gerald Stoller of Port Jefferson, son Mitchell (Eve-Alice), daughter Margot Brown (Bill), her brother David Cohen, sister Carol Levine and five grandchildren.

James Scalfani

James V. Scalfani, of Holtsville passed May 4. He was 67. 

Born in Queens, he was the beloved husband of Lisa and the devoted father of Jim, Elena, Vincent, Adam and Krystle. 

Services were held at Moloney’s Lake Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Lake Ronkonkoma. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. John’s Lutheran Church with interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Funeral Home.

Bryan Thorvaldsen

Bryan M. Thorvaldsen, of Oakdale, passed April 9. He was 28. 

Born in Smithtown, he was the beloved son of Mark and Anita. 

Services were held at Moloney’s Lake Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Lake Ronkonkoma and interment followed at Washington Memorial Park in Mount Sinai.

Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Funeral Home.

Phillip Panzarella

Phillip E. Panzarella, of Holtsville, passed April 25. He was 74.

Born in New York, he was the beloved husband of Margaret and devoted father of Phillip and Angela.

Services were held at Moloney’s Lake Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Lake Ronkonkoma. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Sylvester’s R.C. Church in Medford with interment following at Calverton National Cemetery.

Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Funeral Home.

Patricia Mennella

Patricia A. Mennella, of Hauppauge, passed April 23. She was 73. Born in Queens, she was the beloved wife of Anthony and the devoted mother of Christopher and Andrew. 

Services were held at Moloney’s Hauppauge Funeral Home, and funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church in Ronkonkoma. She was interred at Calverton National Cemetery.

Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Funeral Home.

Roy Gaskill

Roy Edward Gaskill, of Naples, Florida, passed April 17. He was 75. Born in Queens Village, he was the beloved husband of Carol and the devoted father of Christine, Michael
and Nicole.

Services were held at Moloney’s Sinnickson’s Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Center Moriches followed with a private cremation at the Nassau-Suffolk Crematory in Lake Ronkonkoma. 

Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Funeral Home.

Walter Langdon

Walter H. Langdon Sr., of Center Moriches, passed April 24. He was 88. Born in Rockville Centre, he was the beloved husband of Anita and the devoted father of Walter, Kelly and Victoria. He was preceded in death by his son, Edward. 

Services were held at Moloney’s Sinnickson’s Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Center Moriches followed with a private cremation at Nassau-Suffolk Crematory in Lake Ronkonkoma.

Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Funeral Homes.

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Thomas Darrigan

Dr. Thomas Darrigan

Dr. Thomas Michael Darrigan of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and formerly of Port Jefferson died April 26. He was 83.

Darrigan was born April 30, 1935. He was the loving husband of Elsa, and was a respected oral surgeon in Port Jefferson Station for 33 years. 

He is survived by his children Thomas, Timothy, Terri Maillard, Gina Ingham and Lisa Stern; his siblings Maureen (Robert) Murphy, Diane Webb, Judith Murphy and Gerard (Patricia) Darrigan; beloved six grandchildren; and six nieces and nephews.

Services will be held in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and his final resting place will be at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in New Mexico.

Rose DeRicco

Rose DeRicco

Rose DeRicco of Rocky Point died April 4. She was 79.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Dominick DeRicco.

She is survived by her cherished children Joseph DeRicco, Michael DeRicco and Rich De Ricco; her grandchildren Gina, Mia, Sophia and Thomas; sisters Anna and Phyllis; and her many other family members and friends.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point, and interment followed at Washington Memorial Park Cemetery in Mount Sinai.

James Marion Wilson

James (Jim) Marion Wilson, 65, died in his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 27 with his immediate family surrounding him.

Jim was born Feb. 1, 1954, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Tom and Patty Wilson. Spending his formative years in Warren, Ohio, Jim was the third of eight children. He was a former resident of  East Setauket and worked at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown.

He enjoyed many passions in life, among those being golf, Notre Dame football, fine Irish whiskeys, the family’s late yellow lab Molly and coaching his children in various sports. Above all though, Jim’s greatest passion was his family.

During his time in the Philadelphia area, Jim met his loving wife, Randi, formerly Randi Gaydos. In addition to Randi, Jim is survived by his five children, Jimmy, Erin, Ryan, Kelly and Meghan; his two sons-in-law Chris Koontz and Capt. Michael Falvey; his grandchildren Wilson and Nolan Koontz and Frances Falvey; his seven siblings Thomas, Michael, Mary Pat, Terry, Katherine, Patrick and Kevin; and his mother- and father-in-law Aggie and Don Gaydos.

Visitation was held May 2 at O’Brien-Egeebeen-Gerst Chapel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A Mass of Christian burial will be held May 3 at St. Roberts of Newminster.

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Edith Howard Petersen

Edith Petersen

Edith Petersen of Stony Brook died quietly in her home March 30. Her son Raymond, granddaughter Emily and friend Denise were with her. Edith was 94 years young.

Edith was predeceased by her loving husband Howard M. and is survived by her beloved children Lynn Kauffman (Nicholas), Raymond Petersen, Nancy Petersen (Brian Baker) and Ronald Petersen (Victoria). She is a cherished grandmother to Bonnie, Paul, Meridena, Keara, Kimberly, Emily and the late Christopher. She also leaves behind four great-grandchildren.

Edith grew up in a Scandinavian neighborhood in Brooklyn where she met her husband at a roller skating rink. Living through the Great Depression and World War II had a lasting impression on her, but she never lost her zest for life and enjoyed cooking and baking. She was game for the many family activities initiated by her children and grandchildren, including skiing for the first time at age 50.

When they moved to Stony Brook, she and Howard operated the Petersen Marine Towing and Tugboat Corporation and the Mattituck Marina and Fishing Station, which was later acquired by New York State for a public access marine park.

Edith was a constant reader and always ready for political discussion, especially in support of women’s rights. She was interred next to her husband, a World War II veteran, at the Calverton Cemetery.

In celebration of her life, donations can be made to Visiting Nurse Service, Hospice of Suffolk County and Emily’s List.

 

Constance Kohlmeyer

Constance Kohlmeyer

Constance “Connie” Kohlmeyer, of Port Jefferson, died April 22. She was  82.

Kohlmeyer was born May 26, 1936, and in life her hobbies included birdwatching, gardening and bowling.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters Carolyn and Kristie; son Kenneth; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; along with many other family and friends.

People may call at the Bryant Funeral Home, located at 411 Old Town Road in East Setauket for more information: 631-473-0082.

Visiting hours will be hosted April 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Prayer service will be held that day at 8 p.m. at Bryant Funeral Home. A private cremation will follow.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

 

John Lopez

John D. Lopez

John D. Lopez of Smithtown died on April 6 at the age of 87. He was the beloved husband of the late Marjorie, loving father of John Jr. (Kathryn) and cherished grandfather of Natasha and Kayla. John was a proud member of the FDNY, where he last served as captain at Engine 62 in the Bronx. John also was a proud Army veteran and served during the Korean War. Services were held April 10.

 

William Michael Amatucci

William Michael Amatucci of East Northport died on April 9 at the age of 64. He was the beloved son of Catherine and the late Silvio, and loving brother of Rick and John. Bill was a longtime maintenance worker at Sunken Meadow State Park. Services were held April 13 with burial at Commack Cemetery.

 

Richard Tartaglia

Richard Tartaglia

Richard Tartaglia of Centerport died on April 14 at the age of 80. He was the beloved husband of Joan; loving father of Thomas (Suzanne), Debra Caporusso (Philip), Joanne Brieva (Art) and the late Elizabeth; cherished grandfather of Olivia and Jack Tartaglia, Philip and Richard Caporusso and Nicole and Frank Brieva; dear brother of Robert (Barbara) and brother-in-law of Jane Berman (Andy); and his beloved niece and nephews. Services were held April 24 with burial at St. John of God Cemetery in Central Islip.

 

Rose Mary Prestia

Rose Mary Prestia

Rose Mary Prestia of Kew Gardens died on March 31 at the age of 93. She was loved by her many nieces and nephews. Services were held April 3 at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport with a funeral Mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Kings Park. Burial followed at St. John’s Cemetery in Middle Village.

 

Deborah Pecchia

Deborah Pecchia

Deborah Pecchia of East Northport died on March 28. She was 63 years old. Loving wife of Anthony. Caring mother of Lauren Pesce (Alphonse), Stephen (Amy)and Dan. Fond grandma “Bubba” of Stefano, Giuliana, Gabriella, Mikaela, Thomas and Brandon. Beloved daughter of Harriet and the late Henry Yost. Caring sister of Kenneth Yost and Cathy Goldfarb. Cremation was private.

 

Mark Schneider

Mark Schneider

Mark Schneider of Northport died on April 1. Born in 1958, he was the loving and devoted son of Mary Anne and the late Deacon Andrew and dear brother of the late Kenneth. Services were held April 6 at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. Interment followed at the parish cemetery. Donations to the Ecumenical Lay Council Food Pantry, 330 Main Street, Northport, NY 11768, in Mark’s memory, would be appreciated.

 

Stephen Scola

Stephen Scola

Stephen Scola of Fort Salonga died peacefully at age 84 on March 30. He was the devoted husband of Amanda; loving father of John (Stephanie)and Loren Kobus (Theodore); proud and caring grandfather of Owen, Greta, Luca, Audra, Ethan and Theo; and fond brother of Peter.

Stephen loved his chosen professional path as an accomplished orthodontist. After 39 years in practice, he continued working as an attending professor at St. Barnabas University in the Bronx. He truly loved working with the students and sharing his experience and love for orthodontics, which he did until his passing.

Stephen loved vacationing with family, biking, kayaking, swimming and experiencing all that New York City has to offer with his wife, Amanda. He was a true gentleman and loved talking about the economy/financial markets and family.

Services were held April 4 with interment of ashes at Locust Valley Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to MDS Foundation or Huntington YMCA in his memory would be appreciated.

 

Joseph Krupowicz

Joseph J. Krupowicz

Joseph J. Krupowicz of Centerport died on April 2 at 81 years of age. Retired from the FDNY, he was the loving father of son Joseph Jr. and daugher, the late JoAnn Schafer (Ken); beloved grandfather of Gina Krupowicz and Andrew Schafer; dear brother of Barry (Theresa), Fred (Joann), Vivian, and the late Loretta Janus. Joseph was also loved by his many nieces and nephews. A memorial Mass at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church was held on April 16. Interment of ashes followed at Pinelawn Memorial Park.

 

Gayle Tugendaft

Gayle Tugendhaft

Gayle Tugendhaft of Huntington Station died on April 5 at 82 years of age. She was the beloved mother of Ann (Vincent) Gagliano, Michael (Mary) Margulies, Lynn (Michael) Meyer, Joan (Bill) Muller and Margie (Michael) Bachner; loving grandmother of Eli, Gabriella, Julianna, Michael, Naomi, Olivia, Travis, Lowell, Ashley, Jillian, Stefan, Jenny, Ali and Brianna. Cherished great-grandmother of nine. Memorial services were held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport on April 11.

 

Ellen Duffy

Ellen Regina Duffy

Ellen R. Duffy of Centerport died on Easter Sunday, April 21 at 81 years of age. She was the beloved wife of Gene; loving mother of Stacy Dougal (Cliff), Thomas, Jennifer Blue (Craig) and Eileen Pitfick; cherished grandmother of Jake and Sean Dougal, Connor and Waylon Blue and John, Thomas and Kate Pitfick; and dear sister of Jean Schneider. A funeral Mass will be held April 25 at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport with burial to follow at Northport Rural Cemetery. Donations to Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Ellen’s memory would be appreciated.

 

Joseph Riccobono

Joseph Riccobono

Joseph Robert Riccobano, known as “Joe R.,” of East Northport died on March 31 at 68 years of age. He was the loving husband of Joan M. Convery and the late Donna Marie Riccobono; beloved father of Loretta (Dan) Hickman and Jodie (Bryan) Boccard; cherished grandfather of Aidan Daniel Hickman, Austin Joseph Hickman, Isla Donna Boccard and Leo Andrew Boccard; dear brother of the late Angela Wills; fond brother-in-law of Katie Gelormino, John Convery, Timothy Convery, Patrick Convery, Joni Michelis, Linda Liebl; and son-in-law of Joan B. Farrell. A funeral Mass was held on April 5 at St. Philip Neri Church with burial at Northport Rural Cemetery.

Times Beacon Record News Media publishes free obituaries as a service to our readers. Announcements may be emailed to donna@tbrnewsmedia.com. For further information, please call 631-751-7744, ext. 138.

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Call me ghoulish, but I like to read obituaries. Of course they have to be well-written obits, like the ones in The New York Times. I almost never know the people who have died. If I’ve heard of them, their stories are usually on the front page. These obits that I refer to are usually found in the back pages. The dead are famous enough to warrant a significant write-up, and I always like to hear tales of people’s lives. That’s one reason I find them interesting. Another, perhaps more important attraction for me, is the random information to be gleaned on diverse subjects.

Let me give you some recent examples.

On an entirely random day, Thursday, Oct. 25, I read about Wanda Ferragamo, clever wife of the famous shoemaker, Salvatore Ferragamo, who had built a shoe shop in Florence, Italy, into a shoe design and manufacturing concern. Upon his death in 1960 — he was 24 years older than his wife — Wanda, who had never worked in her life until then, built the company into an international powerhouse with annual revenues most recently of more than $1 billion. Now I happen to like Ferragamo shoes, although I mostly don’t buy them. But the obit was something of a business case study for me, as well as the story of a remarkable woman who had just died at her hilltop villa in Fiesole, a beautiful village above Florence, at age 96.

Then there was Osamu Shimomura, who died in Nagasaki, Japan, at age 90. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 for finding a glowing jellyfish protein that is now a major element of biological research. Shimomura, working in Washington state for a Princeton marine biologist in 1961, scooped up thousands of jellyfish from Puget Sound in an attempt to discover how they glowed green when agitated. They were able to extract a luminescent material, a protein, which they named aequorin. He also found trace amounts of another protein, green fluorescent protein or GFP that would glow green whenever ultraviolet light was shined on it. Ultimately the GFP gene was stitched into the DNA of other organisms, enabling researchers to track those organisms the way naturalists can track tagged cougars in the wild. This revolutionized contemporary biological discovery. Of great further interest, he lived with grandparents near Nagasaki and saw the American B-29 airplane that dropped its devastating atomic bomb on the city. He described what he saw in graphic detail in his Nobel autobiography.

Dorcas Reilly, who died in Camden, New Jersey, at age 92, might particularly be remembered at the Thanksgiving table. It was she who invented the classic American dish of green bean casserole when she worked in the Campbell Soup Company test kitchen. Containing a mere six ingredients, the recipe was printed on the label of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and called for cooked green beans, a little milk, soy sauce, pepper and some crunchy fried onions on top. Reilly helped create simple recipes to promote the sale of company products. Originally called the Green Bean Bake in 1955, Campbell’s estimates some 20 million American homes will serve the dish in two weeks time.

The Indian musician and teacher, Annapurna Devi, 91, died in Mumbai, formerly Bombay. Called by The Times “a poignant inspiration for women artists,” Devi masterfully played the surbahar, described as a bass sitar. This is “a difficult instrument that few if any women of her era played.” She and her first husband, the famous sitarist Ravi Shankar, sometimes played together, but when she seemed to get most of the notice she stopped performing. A 1973 movie, “Abhimaan,” is said to have been inspired by their marriage and the tensions within it. She then limited herself to teaching and “turned out musicians of the highest caliber.”

There was also Tony Hoagland, who died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was 64 and “a widely admired poet who could be both humorous and heartfelt.” He found insights and imagery in the everyday, like a pool in an Austin, Texas, park; a spaghetti strap on a woman’s dress that wouldn’t stay put; and, according to The Times, an old man dying awash in paranoia from too much Fox News.

Never heard of any of them? Now you have and learned something too, I’ll bet. I did.