A funeral service is scheduled Tuesday for "Teddy" Roosevelt Award winner Erasmus J. "Raz" Tafuro of East Northport, who died Wednesday.
Born and raised on Long Island, Tafuro, graduated from from Westbury High School and went on to Farmingdale College, according to Oyster Bay Enterprise-Pilot. After working for Grumman Aircraft, he was drafted during World War II and found in Germany with the 5th Armored Division in the Battle of Central Europe, said the report.
Tafuro was a past commander of the Westbury Veterans of Foreign Wars, worked in fundraising at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Brookville, coached CYO girls basketball and boys softball teams, and served as deputy police commissioner of the Old Brookville Police Department, among other achievements.
"Don't be passive - be active in your community, in your life and in the lives of your family and others...'You can make a difference," he told the Enterprise-Pilot.
It was this dedication to his community that won Tafuro the 2003 "Teddy" Roosevelt Achievement Award, presented annually to those who have shown their work in public service through government or service organizations, according to the report.
Visiting will be held at Beney Funeral Home Monday 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A funeral mass will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle RC Church in Brookville followed by a burial at Calverton National Cemetery, according to Legacy.com.
Tafuro, of East Northport and formerly of Muttontown, leaves behind wife Henrietta, children Eileen, James, Jacqueline, and Janet. He was a beloved grandfather of Leah, JJ, Kimberley, Lindsay, and Emily, and brother to Marius and Vincent.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Long Island State Veterans Home, Reflection Unit, 100 Patriots Road, Stony Brook.