Peter Ferrero (Schreiber '88) of Rogers Drive is described as "one-of-a-kind, " and a "big Port guy," by his longtime friends. Moreover, they say they looked to him as an ideal role model, especially in the way he treated his family. In fact to better provide for his family, he worked a second job with a landscaping company in order to supplement his income as a New York City police officer. But sadly and tragically, on Nov. 25, this vital young man died while cutting down a tree while clearing a piece of land on a steep incline on Pleasant Avenue.
At approximately 3 p.m., on the 25th, Ferrero, 32, fell from a tree he had been cutting down, and suffered multiple fractures of the neck and spine. The Port Washington Fire Department ambulance transported him to St. Francis Hospital where emergency room physician Dr. Angelopous, pronounced him dead. Apparently, after the fall, Ferrero went into cardiac arrest.
His family and friends are devastated. "Peter was so well-liked. You never heard him say anything bad about anybody, " reports his longtime friend David Sandino. "He was a humble and modest guy," he adds.
Sandino recalls how Peter helped his father, a Vietnam veteran who had been in the Marines, battle some health problems. "He helped his dad make a 180 degree turn in his life," notes Sandino , explaining that after high school, Peter moved down to Key West, Fla. for a year to help his father turn his life around. There was such a strong father/son bond after that, that Peter made his father his best man at his wedding.
Another of Peter's close knit group of friends, Anthony Bellomo, feels emotionally drained by Peter's loss. "He was the type of guy who would do anything for anybody. One of the great Port guys who wanted to give back all that the community's given them." Peter urged his group of high school friends, 10 boys who had been buddies since the sixth and seventh grade, to move back to Port and raise their kids here. He was concerned that Port was losing some of the small town feel it had when he was growing up. "He was upset about the gang activity," noted Bellomo.
Peter grew up in Port and graduated Schreiber High School in 1988. A talented athlete, he played soccer and football, and was an exceptional lacrosse player. He was named most valuable player in the Nassau County LAX finals in 1988 and was listed among the best of his conference.
Ironically, Peter recently organized a fundraiser and a lacrosse scholarship for another member of his circle of friends who died in the September 11, 2001 tragedy, John "Pepe" Salerno, who was also a young father.
Interestingly, Bellomo used the same term to describe his friend Peter as David Sandino did: "one of a kind." He likened his group to the TV sitcom Happy Days with Peter in the role of Arthur Fonzerella.
Peter married his high school sweetheart, Leslee Cifarelli, a lifelong Port resident whose family goes back many years in Port. Peter and his wife had lived in three other locations in Port before they purchased a home this year on Rogers Drive. Peter had spent the last few months fixing the house up for his family. Fixing up homes was something he did well, as he did much of this with his father-in-law, with whom he was very close.
Leslee is expecting their third child in March. Peter and Leslee also have two other children: Katherine, 7 and Nicholas, 4.
A funeral service was held at St. Peter of Alcantara, interment was at Nassau Knolls Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family and sent to M. Schilling, 219 E. 81st Street, Apt. 6H, New York, New York 10028. (Apartment 6H must be included in address). Please make checks payable to the Ferrero family.