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'Bittersweet' homecoming for empty-nest East Rockaway dad

From left, Patti, Emma and Jim Nicoletti enjoy

From left, Patti, Emma and Jim Nicoletti enjoy the East Rockaway High School homecoming celebration on Oct. 3, 2015. Photo Credit: Danielle De Souza

Jim Nicoletti smiled as his daughter, Emma, handed him and his wife, Patti, flowers during a parents' recognition ceremony at East Rockaway High School's homecoming football game celebration Saturday.

It was not his first time being a part of the school's annual ritual, but as a father it was his last.

Jim graduated from East Rockaway High School in 1980, and his four siblings and two older children are also graduates.

Emma will be the last member of his immediate family to graduate from the school next June.

"It's bittersweet, but it's an accomplishment that she is graduating," Jim said. "She had a great education."

After he graduated from the school, he went to college for a short time and worked a number of jobs. He is now the owner of J&K Custom Contracting in Lynbrook.

He's proud that his two older children went to college and that Emma is on her way.

"There is a lot more opportunity now and I am glad that they are taking advantage of that," he said.

Jim just hopes his kids don't stray too far after college, for one specific reason.

"Maybe my grandkids will come here in the future," he said.

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