STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Longtime Staten Islander Kenneth Aiani, 84, of West Brighton, a retired Navy non-commissioned officer and loving family man, died yesterday of cancer in Tisch Hospital of NYU Langone Medical Center, in Manhattan.
Born in Chicago, he attended Provisio Township High School. He also lived briefly in Brooklyn before moving to West Brighton in 1968.
Mr. Aiani served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years, and saw duty during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. He taught officer trainees at Officers Candidate School in Newport, R.I., before being discharged as a chief petty officer in 1966.
He then worked at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, L.I., as a fireman and assistant fire chief, retiring in the early 1980s.
Mr. Aiani was an avid and talented golfer, and a member and officer of the Silver Lake Golf Club. In 2007, at the age of 79, he won the annual Mesquite Amateur golf tournament in Nevada. He also enjoyed carpentry and built tables, chairs and benches.
He loved to travel with his wife, the former Carolyn Sutera, and the couple had visited European destinations, including Germany and Italy, as well as many parts of the United States.
"He was a man of few words but was a tremendous listener, and he always observed. He always allowed you to speak your mind and make your own decisions and develop," said his son, John Aiani.
Mr. Aiani was a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church, West Brighton.
Surviving, along with Carolyn, his wife of 59 years, and his son, John, are his sons, Louis, Ronald and Kenneth Jr., and 10 grandchildren.
The funeral will be Saturday from the Casey Funeral Home, Castleton Corners, with a mass at 10 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament Church. Burial will follow in Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp