Former Great Kills resident Michael Cirigliano, 90, of North Lauderdale Florida, a retired aviation engineer for the U.S. Government, consultant for Northrop Grumman Corp., and devoted family man, died Saturday at his home in N. Lauderdale, Florida with his loving son Brian at his side.
Born in West Brighton, New York, he remained in the community until 1970, moving to Merrick, New York and retiring in 1990 in North Lauderdale, FL.
He graduated from McKee High School in 1940.
A World War II veteran, Mr. Cirigliano served in the U.S. Marine Corp. from 1940 to 1945. A Corporal, he was assigned to the South Pacific, Guadalcanal. During his service to his country he received the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with Bronze Star, WWII Honorable Discharge (Ruputred Duck) Lapel Pin and WWII Victory Medal among other prestigious awards.
Throughout Mr. Cirigliano's career, as an aviation engineer, he received many citations and awards for inventions and improvements for the aircraft he worked on. He was assigned to Miller Field, a U.S. Army facility on Staten Island, Mitchel Field Air Force Base, Long Island, NY, and the Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, NJ.
Always an active member of his community, Mr. Cirigliano was a member of the Veterans Association of America, American Legion, a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus and an usher at St. Malachy Catholic Church.
Mr. Cirigliano enjoyed the outdoors. In his leisure time, he spent weekends, holidays and summers with his children and grandchildren - five generations in tow. He was an avid fisherman, gardening enthusiast, growing many of his own fruits and vegetables. He also enjoyed traveling, collecting stamps and coins.
Mr. Cirigliano's son John noted "My dad left a mark on everyone he met; his many friends were quick to say what an incredible guy he was". His daughter Gale recalls "Fridays were flounder, blue claw crab and clam bakes, both in Long Island and Florida. Whether on the beach, off a pier or in a boat, he just loved to fish, especially with my brothers. He took great pleasure in sharing the days catch with family and friends."
Mr. Cirigliano's wife Mary, the former Mary Gregorie, died in 2004 and his son Joseph died in 2010.
Surviving are his sons Michael, John, David and Brian and his daughters Gale, Kathleen Helt and Victoria; his brother Benjamin and his sister Marie Cerullo; 15 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and 1 great, great granddaughter.
The funeral will be Saturday from the Kraeer Funeral Home in Margate, FL, with a mass at 10:00 a.m. in St. Malachy Catholic Church in Tamarac, FL. Burial will follow in Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery, N. Lauderdale, FL. A memorial mass will take place at St. Teresa's Church, Staten Island, NY (TBA)