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Longtime Newsday employee Richard Petrosino of North Babylon dies

Richard Petrosino, 57, of North Babylon, a longtime

Richard Petrosino, 57, of North Babylon, a longtime Newsday employee, died after collapsing at the newspaper's main office in Melville. Photo Credit: Handout

Richard Petrosino just couldn't let people think he'd been bested by his kid brother Charles.

Back in the 1980s, Charles beat Richard in a bowling tournament, and the Bellmore alley hung a banner congratulating the winner by last name: Petrosino.

"He went around telling everyone it was him," Charles chuckled Sunday. "People'd be congratulating him because they didn't figure the young one would rise to the occasion. But he got spanked that day."

Richard Petrosino, 57, of North Babylon, a longtime Newsday employee whose job as a collating mechanic was to help make sure sections and fliers were inserted into the paper, died Friday night after collapsing at the newspaper's main office in Melville. He was almost done with his 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift and was putting away his toolbox.

"He turned and he just collapsed. He probably had no idea what hit him. It was that fast," said Charles Petrosino, 50, of Bay Shore, who also works at Newsday as a collator. "He was back there with the team of mechanics and that was it."

He was pronounced dead at Plainview Hospital. An autopsy will determine the cause of death, his brother said.

Ed Bushey, Newsday's vice president of operations and distribution, expressed the company's condolences.

"Rich was a longtime, valued member of our operations team," he said Sunday. "We are deeply saddened and our hearts go out to his family."

Richard Petrosino appeared to be healthy, Charles Petrosino said.

Born May 17, 1955, in Brooklyn to Carmine Petrosino and the former Vivian Passimenti, Richard was an infant when the family moved to Wantagh. He graduated from Wantagh High School.

His employment at Newsday began in October 1988 after a stint working in a trailer rental business with his father. At the newspaper, he had been a shop steward for the labor union, Local 406.

In his spare time, he would travel -- he didn't like to fly, so frequent destinations included the Poconos and Atlantic City. He owned a racehorse, and collected antique coins and Thomas Kinkade artwork.

"He liked the little things," his brother said.

Richard beat out Charles in a recent eBay auction for a 19th-century coin struck at the Carson City Mint -- coins that are prized by collectors.

" 'You outbid me! You were the one,' " Charles recalled saying to his brother when he realized to whom he had lost out. "Maybe it was payback for our bowling years."

In addition to his brother, Charles, he is survived by his wife, Joanne Petrosino of North Babylon; daughters, Kimberly Petrosino of East Meadow and Joanne Petrosino of North Babylon; twin brother, Robert Petrosino of Bay Shore; and sisters, Christine Petrosino of North Bellmore and Carol Pease of North Babylon.

A wake will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Claude R. Boyd/Caratozzolo Funeral Home in Deer Park.

The funeral is at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at The Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, also in Deer Park. Burial will be in St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale.

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