Written by Steve Culhane Friday, 10 June 2011 00:00
While it has been nearly a decade since they were tragically taken away from this world after the 9/11 attacks, the trio continue to do what they always did best in the living years-touching the lives of others.
Recently, our daughter Katelyn was the recipient of the Colaio/Pedicini Memorial Foundation Scholarship, a college tuition award given to Hicksville High School students who personify the outstanding character traits of these men. While the timing of such an award couldn’t be more impeccable during these rough times, our gratitude lies much deeper than financial appreciation. The fact that our daughter was chosen for such a distinct honor hasn’t only made us extremely proud; it connected our family to an important legacy that will always shine bright in the town of Hicksville.
While brothers Mark and Stephen Colaio and brother-in-law Thomas Pedicini all had different personalities, their common denominator was clearly their hearts, which spilled into the lives of anyone who was lucky enough to know them. In many ways they were cut from the same cloth, as they possessed the special qualities most of us yearn for in life. Each was strikingly handsome, witty and fun to be around, which had people seeking their company and anyone who was able to forge a relationship with them was better off because of it.
After Mark had carved out a prominent career in the business world on Wall Street it was only natural for him to eventually include his brother and brother in-law. Both were able to find healthy niches in that sector before that fateful day. Yet none of them would ever let success infringe on their sense of family or eclipse the kindness, which defined them as individuals. It just wasn’t their way.
Jean Colaio Steinbach, sister of Mark and Stephen along with Pam Morace (nee Pedicini), who were in attendance for the award ceremony later reflected on their brothers’ legacies.
“Mark was so generous and would always extend that to everyone he knew. He would coordinate gatherings for family and friends at his home in Montauk. Stephen had an uncanny ability to light up a room with his sheer presence and warmth. His sense of humor was great and he used it constantly. They had a unique gift in making people feel comfortable and welcomed. I miss them all the time” Jean noted.
“Tommy was a self-starter who was never afraid to jump in head first when it came to challenging himself. He actually taught himself how to play the guitar, which became a passion for him. It was terrible. Things were going really well for them when all this happened. We were all very close,” added Pam.
Her sister, June, was married to Mark and was left with two young children who are now 11 and 13 years old. A street near the Tribeca area of Manhattan where the family resided has since been renamed “Colaio Way” in their honor. Also, the Town of Oyster Bay dedicated the street where Tommy grew up and where his mom still lives (74 Combes Ave., Hicksville) as Thomas Pedicini Drive.
Although the pain from such a tragic loss never goes away, perhaps the families can take solace in all the good that the Colaio/Pedicini Foundation has provided to Hicksville students over the years. As Katelyn was posing for pictures with Jean and Pam outside the auditorium, there was a powerful presence that could be felt.
It was a great example of good people staying alive, even after they are gone.