William John Cirillo – Jan. 28

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For maybe the first time ever, William John Cirillo has willingly decided not to go to work in the morning. He was born on April 1st, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York; passed away peacefully in his sleep on  January 28th, 2019, in Bronxville, New York; and in the intermediary 92  years lived a life like no other.

William, or Bill as he was known by his friends and family, was raised  by his parents Costantino and Isabella Cirillo. Bill was an athlete, a  businessman, a coach, an excellent story-teller and a veteran of the  United States Navy; but above all, and what he was most proud of, Bill  Cirillo was head of a beloved family.

In his youth, he attended a local Brooklyn elementary school before eventually graduating from La Salle Military Academy. Bill developed a  passion for sports early in life; his athletic excellence enabled him to play football across the country. Starting at Notre Dame, Bill then continued his career while in the armed forces, playing for the  United States Navy in 1945. Upon return to civilian life the following  year, Bill attended his alma mater, Yale, where he graduated in 1950  after studying economics, history, and politics.

He went on to work in the family business—Cirillo Brothers Petroleum. It was around this time he met his soon-to-be wife of 65 years, Barbara Morea. They met at a picnic and married a year later. The  couple moved to Pelham in 1953 and began their family. Barbra raised the children while Bill displayed his characteristic intellect and  diligence, working long hours at a job he loved. Even at the age of  92, Bill was still found in his office entertaining life-long friends  and customers. His employees and colleagues described him as a fair, understanding man loved by all. There was no such thing as half
portions with Bill. It was always, “Go big or go home.”

Despite his business acumen, Bill’s lasting work was not success at  the office; it was at home, where he sculpted the lives of his children with an unmatched intelligence and kindness; it was on fields and schools where he spread his love of all things athletic; it was at beaches and restaurants and kitchen tables where he regaled his  grandchildren with stories of baseball diamonds in Brooklyn, gridirons across the country and shipyards in San Diego.

William Cirillo will forever be remembered as a kind, charismatic and  generous man who guided an adoring family. His legacy lives on with  his wife of 65 years Barbara Cirillo; his daughters, Janice (Joseph) Gendusa and Jackie (Roland) Roeckle; his son, Robert (Karen) Cirillo;  and his sister, Monica Rippa. William is predeceased by his daughter
Constance Cirillo and his brother Nicholas Cirillo. He will be missed  by his many friends, customers and the countless others whose lives he  touched.

A celebration of William’s life took place at the Pelham Funeral  Home located at 64 Lincoln Ave., Pelham, New York, on Thursday, January 31, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial took place at  Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on Friday, February 1, at 11:30 a.m.  Interment followed at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers,  donations may be made in William’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. For more information or to leave a condolence, please visit www.pelhamfuneral.com.

This obituary was provided by the Pelham Funeral Home.