William J. D'Avanzo, a former Mineola trustee and longtime member of the village fire department, died at home Monday after a stroke. He was 89.
"He was a 65-year member of the fire department," Chief Jeff Clark said. "He was a knowledgeable senior member of the department who people would seek counsel from, and he was recognized as one of the bravest and strongest members of the fire department."
Clark said the lifelong resident of Mineola rose through the ranks to become captain of Engine Company 1.
During World War II, the Navy veteran served on the USS Luce, a destroyer, in the Pacific.
He later owned several small businesses. He was a longtime public works department commissioner for the village, and also served as a village board trustee, the family said.
Joe Sellitto, a former fire department chief and D'Avanzo's nephew, said D'Avanzo came from a family of volunteer firefighters.
John S. D'Avanzo -- a popular village trustee who died in March and once owned a moving company with William and their brother Carmine -- joined the fire department in 1947.
William D'Avanzo's son, Thomas, was also a member of the department; and Sellitto's father and son belonged as well.
As an uncle, D'Avanzo was a lot of fun, Sellitto said. "He was a great guy, and funny and friendly to everybody."
D'Avanzo's daughter, Patricia Fiorvanti of East Northport, said he enjoyed boating and was an avid golfer and longtime member of the Wheatley Hills Country Club.
"He made two holes-in-one in one game, and it was in Sports Illustrated and The New York Times," she said.
Fiorvanti said she will remember D'Avanzo as a terrific father. "He was wonderful and sensitive, and a hardworking man. He was selfless and generous, always doing for others."
In addition to Fiorvanti, D'Avanzo is survived by two other children, Thomas of Pompano Beach, Florida, and William J. D'Avanzo Jr. of Mineola. D'Avanzo's wife, Ann, died in 1980.
Visiting is Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at Cassidy Funeral Home, 156 Wills Ave., Mineola. A Mass is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Saturday at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Mineola. Burial will be in Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury.