NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – CBS2 is continuing our series honoring the people we’ve lost to the coronavirus pandemic.
CBS2’s Jessica Moore looks back at the lives of two men who left permanent marks on their communities, one being a father figure to students and another the patriarch of a popular family restaurant.
Dennis DeCarlo is described as a “salt of the earth” type guy with a kind, loving heart who lifted the spirits of everyone around him.
The beloved art teacher at Pompton Lakes High School in New Jersey was a seasoned educator who spent years restoring furniture for Sotheby’s auction house and later won the title of teacher of the year.
His high standards and constant encouragement brought soaring enrollment to the arts program where he always made time to say a kind word.
Dennis sought out the students others had rejected or dismissed and, though he didn’t have children of his own, many of the kids he taught openly called him dad.
He loved music, and would often request The Beach Boys be played over the campus-wide sound system.
Dennis got sick in mid-March and battled COVID-19 for 50 days before passing on May 3 at the age of 61.
Joseph Migliucci was a fixture on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
The 81-year-old celebrated patriarch of Mario’s Restaurant lived and breathed the family business.
He did everything at Mario’s, from cooking to running the front of the house where his mega-watt smile and towering presence drew loyal customers for decades.
Joe was a dedicated family man to his four children and 16 grandchildren.
His daughter Regina says Joe loved to surprise his kids with road trips to Jones Beach. Even if the weather was bad, he’d never turn down lunch and ice cream on the sand.
He liked to build things, fix things, and work on cars – all as the sounds of Sinatra filled his home.
Joe taught his kids to be kind, smile, and treat everyone like they would want to be treated.
He got sick at the end of March and was hospitalized on March 31, where he died one week later.
The families of both men say they will never move on but move forward following the examples Dennis and Joe set with their lives.