John J. Crisafulli, 78, a longtime resident of Wantagh and a 46-year member of the Wantagh Fire Department, died Nov. 5, 1999, of cancer. Mr. Crisafulli was born in Manhattan and later resided in the Bronx. He attended city schools and was drafted into the US Army in 1943. He received a medical discharge and upon his release, continued his education. He was awarded his bachelor and master's degree from NYU in education and began his teaching career in 1949. Mr. Crisafulli taught industrial arts at Andrew Jackson High School, Queens, retiring in 1993.
In 1946 he was invited to a friend's house to play Monopoly. There he met a girl, Helen Petry, also of the Bronx. They fell in love over a game of Monopoly and in 1949 married. As Helen said, "We've been playing Monopoly ever since." They were married some 50 years and had two children, a son John and a daughter Nina.
On May 29, 1953, Mr. Crisafulli joined the Wantagh Fire Department. He served with honor for some 46 years, receiving a
Chiefs Award and a Unit Citation for the Avianca plane crash in January 1990.
Assigned to Company One, he became a charter member of Company Two when it was formed in 1954. During his tenure in the Wantagh Fire Department, he served as firefighter with Engine 2, Engine 4, Engine 7, Rescue 2 and Ladder 2, until his death. He attained the rank of lieutenant when he served with Engine 7 in 1962/1963.
Mr. Crisafulli was active in many offices and organizations. He served as district secretary/treasurer from June 1955 to July 1993. In addition, he held the post of sergeant at arms of Company Two.
During Mr. Crisafulli's 46 years with the fire department he also served as a delegate to the Sixth Battalion and the Southern NY Volunteer Fireman's Association. He was a member of the Firemen's Association State of NU, NYS Association of Fire Chiefs, NC Emerald Society and the Volunteer and Exempt Firemen's Benevolent Association of Wantagh.
Mr. Crisafulli was laid to rest at Pinelawn Memorial Park, with fire department honors, after services at St. Frances de Chantal Church on Nov. 9. A firematic service was held at the Charles J. O'Shea Funeral Home in Wantagh.
Mr. Crisafulli is survived by his wife, Helen; daughter, Nina of Farmingdale; son, John and his wife Susan; along with his grandchildren, John, 17, James, 15, Paul, 12 and Julianne, 10 of Syracuse, NY; two sisters, Mary Napoli of Montrose, NY, and Anne DiIorio of City Island, Bronx.
In lieu of flowers a donation to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10021 is requested.