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Gaetano Barbieri of Bay Shore: He loved movies and told great stories

Gaetano "Guy" Barbieri, seen in an undated photo,

Gaetano "Guy" Barbieri, seen in an undated photo, was 79 when he died in April. Credit: Barbieri family

Gaetano Barbieri's family is much like many others on Long Island who traded their Brooklyn roots for suburban life.

By the time Barbieri was a teenager, he and his family had left their President Street home and settled in Seaford, and Barbieri would graduate from Island Trees High School in 1958.

Barbieri went on to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from college — the first in his family to do so — and make his mark at jobs he held in Nassau and Suffolk over the decades, including teaching high school English in Bay Shore.

To family and friends, Barbieri was “without a doubt a one-of-a-kind guy known for his intelligence, wit and great stories” his daughter, Maria Barbieri of Middlebury, Connecticut, said in an email.

But Barbieri, who settled in Bay Shore and was known as “Guy” to those who knew and loved him, last month became one of the thousands of New Yorkers to succumb to the novel coronavirus. He was 79. His wife, the former Frances DiMarco, also died last month of complications from COVID-19.

Maria Barbieri said her father was born Jan. 23, 1941, to Joseph Barbieri and the former Maria Ruggiero, part of a large Italian American family.

After relocating to Long Island, Barbieri finished high school and graduated from Hofstra University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in English.

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His working life was rich and varied, relatives said.

He served as a bank teller with Lincoln Savings Bank, state Park Police officer at Robert Moses State Park, and an ambulette driver for kidney dialysis patients in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

But his most memorable tenures were as an English teacher at Bay Shore High School, a sales and district manager for State Farm Insurance in Westbury and Jackson Heights, Queens, and more recently, as a regular fixture at 21st Century Automotive and Diagnostic Center in Patchogue.

“Guy was an avid reader and a trivia whiz,” his daughter said. “He loved movies of any genre and had a knack for reciting movie lines for any occasion. He loved to cook and will be remembered for his sauce.

"He loved to travel and especially loved spending time with his cousins in Italy. He loved sports, being a NY Yankees fan from when he was a little boy, and he especially loved his UConn Huskies women’s basketball team.” 

Besides his daughter Maria Barbieri, he is survived by another daughter, Justine Frazer of Islip; a son, Joseph Barbieri of Waterbury, Connecticut; his first wife, the former Carolyn Sisia of Middlebury, Connecticut; two brothers, Salvatore Barbieri of Remsenburg and Joseph W. Barbieri Jr. of Bethpage; 10 grandchildren; 13 nieces and nephews; 16 great-nieces and great-nephews; and many cousins.


 

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