The lure of teaching for Ralph Borzello, a Sayville resident who spent his life educating students around Central Islip, was showing children the world's possibilities.
"He wanted to be able to let children see the opportunities they had before them. The possibilities were endless," said his widow, Kathleen Borzello.
Borzello died Jan. 31 of organ failure at Stony Brook University Medical Center. He was 65.
Borzello grew up in Brooklyn and Lindenhurst and graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from St. John's University in Queens in 1966.
He was drafted to serve in the Army during the Vietnam War, but a bump on his foot kept him out of the service, his wife said.
Borzello began working at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip as an English teacher and guidance counselor as he studied for his master's degree in guidance and counseling at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.
He received his doctorate in education from LaSalle University in Louisiana in 1998.
Borzello spent most of his career in the Central Islip school district, where for 14 years he was a high school guidance counselor and then a district coordinator until he retired in 2000.
Borzello was involved in the Sayville Little League as coach and president, and coached football in Central Islip.
Along with his wife, Borzello is survived by daughters Jeannine Borzello-Brown, of Durham, N.C., and Marielle, of Sayville; and sons Matthew, of Queens, and Jeffrey, of Sayville.
Visitation is Thursday at the Claude R. Boyd-Spencer Funeral Home in Babylon, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. The service is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Sayville, followed by interment at the church's cemetery.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in Borzello's name be made to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, the American Diabetes Association or the Lustgarten Foundation.