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John Scorzelli Jr. of Riverhead dies at 46

John Scorzelli Jr., a physician assistant at Brookhaven

John Scorzelli Jr., a physician assistant at Brookhaven Hospital and Winthrop-University Hospital, died in a car accident on Sept. 29, 2012. He was 46. Newsday's obituary for John Scorzelli Jr.
Credit: Handout

John Scorzelli Jr., a beach-loving physician assistant from Riverhead, died Saturday in a car crash at 46.

Scorzelli was married 13 years and had two sons -- Odin, 9, and Honor, who turns 8 this weekend.

"He was very humble and intelligent," said his wife, Maria Montalbano Scorzelli, who is also a physician assistant. "He was a magnificent man who happened to be very handsome."

Scorzelli and his wife were "beach people," she said. They left Huntington eight years ago and moved to Reeves Park in Riverhead, just two blocks from the beach.

"We wanted to raise our children by the beach," she said. Every night in the summer, he would come from work and the family would go the beach, build a fire and watch the sunset, she said. "That's how we spent our life for the past eight years."

Scorzelli was very active. He loved sports, especially surfing, hockey and lacrosse, said sister-in-law Tania Montalbano, of Portland, Ore. This year, he began teaching Honor to play lacrosse and Odin to fish.

"He enjoyed introducing them to the things he loved," Montalbano said.

Scorzelli worked full-time at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, where he was known as a "congenial and extremely professional" employee, said Christopher Banks, vice president of development and external relations for the hospital.

Before joining Brookhaven hospital in 2005, Scorzelli worked at Winthrop-University Hospital, where he met his wife. The couple married Sept. 11, 1999.

Montalbano said he was a devoted father and husband and dedicated a lot of time to "creating a home" for his family.

"He was very kind and compassionate," Montalbano said. "One of the first things they did when they bought this house was to put a fireplace in, so they could spend their evenings around it as family."

The crash occurred at 12:30 a.m. Saturday, when Scorzelli was driving his 2006 Mazda sedan east on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, police said. His car entered the westbound lane and collided with a 2005 Kia sport utility vehicle driven by Lia Fallon, 43, of Port Jefferson, Riverhead police Det. Michael Schmidt said. Scorzelli was pronounced dead at Peconic Bay Medical Center while Fallon suffered minor injuries, police said. An investigation is ongoing.

Scorzelli was born in 1966 in Massapequa, and grew up in Levittown. He attended Nassau Community College and graduated from Stony Brook University in 2001.

His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, including family members, friends and even patients, Montalbano said.

Besides his wife and children, Scorzelli is survived by his mother, Sharon Tripp, of Hallandale, Fla.; his father, John Scorzelli, and stepmother Susan Scorzelli, of Levittown; his brother Daniel Scorzelli of Levittown; his sister Lori of Hollywood, Fla.; his grandmother Lillian Tripp of Hollywood, Fla.; and his grandfather Frank Scorzelli of Levittown.

Services were Monday and Tuesday at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A funeral Mass was celebrated Wednesday at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Riverhead. He was buried at St. John's Cemetery. Donations in his name can be made to the Children's Education Fund.

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