Hewlett fire official Benjamin Moleno Sr. dies

Benjamin Moleno Sr. died on Dec. 31, 2012.

Benjamin Moleno Sr. died on Dec. 31, 2012. (Credit: handout )

Benjamin Moleno Sr., a longtime Hewlett fire official and former Roosevelt laundry and dry cleaning owner, died Dec. 31 of heart problems at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. He was 92.

"He was born on Franklin Avenue; the fire station was on that block, and he lived on that street," said his son Benjamin Moleno Jr., of Rockville Centre.

Moleno joined the department after graduating from Woodmere High School in 1938. He had been a commissioner for 50 years, his son said, and had worked as the department's treasurer for 15 years, until 2011. "He loved the department," his son said.

Moleno was still serving on the legislative committee of the New York State Association of Fire Districts at the time of his death, his son said.

"He was a great guy and an excellent role model," said John Carlo, the first assistant chief of the Hewlett Fire Department. "He was a founder of the Nassau association of districts and served as its president in 1951. He was the state president in 1970 and 1971, and just last year we named him an honorary chief of the department.

"More than anything else, though, he was a fireman. He had risen through the ranks and became a captain," Carlo said.

Moleno retired in 1982 from his Roosevelt business, which he had run for about 35 years just off Babylon Turnpike, his son said. During much of World War II, the elder Moleno had worked at Republic Aviation.

Moleno also was a lifelong Republican and served as a Hewlett committeeman for more than 50 years. He was a longtime member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Hewlett.

Jean, his wife of 68 years, died in June 2010.

Moleno also is survived by son Richard, of Odessa, Fla.; daughter Peggy Neldner, of Danville, Calif.; and six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Saturday at the church. His remains were buried with his wife's at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Pinelawn.

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