The 89-year-old man who accidentally set himself on fire Thursday while lighting a candle in memory of his wife at a church in Hicksville has died, police said.
Badalamente was a World War II veteran who was wounded fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and received the Purple Heart.
"He was proud of his contribution," said Michael Krummenacker, his son-in-law.
About 6:20 a.m. Thursday, Badalamente, a retired Manhattan postal worker, was lighting a candle at Holy Family Catholic Church in Hicksville. Investigators said he didn't extinguish a stick used to light the votive and his clothing ignited near his waist.
Badalamente's daughter, Fran Krummenacker of Hicksville, said that every day for the past eight years her father walked to the church to light a candle in memory of his wife, Rosalie, who died in 2003.
Born in Queens on May 7, 1921, Badalamente attended a vocational high school. He was drafted into the Army in 1942 and was assigned to an artillery unit.
He worked as an oil truck driver, a mechanic and pipe fitter, for the Pennsylvania Railroad and as a U.S. Postal Service clerk.
Other survivors include a daughter, JoAnne Tortorella of Stewart Manor, and two grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be 7-9 p.m. Sunday, and 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Monday at the Vernon C. Wagner Funeral Home, 125 W. Old Country Rd. in Hicksville. A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. at St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church in Hicksville. Burial will follow at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury.