For maybe the first time ever, William John Cirillo has willingly
decided not to go to work in the morning. He was born on April 1st,
1926 in Brooklyn, New York; passed away peacefully in his sleep on
January 28th, 2019 in Bronxville, New York; and in the intermediary 92
years lived a life like no other.
William, or Bill as he was known by his friends and family, was raised
by his parents Costantino and Isabella Cirillo. Bill was an athlete, a
businessman, a coach, an excellent story-teller, and a veteran of the
United States Navy; but above all, and what he was most proud of, Bill
Cirillo was head of a beloved family.
In his youth he attended a local Brooklyn elementary school before
eventually graduating from La Salle Military Academy. Bill developed a
passion for sports early in life; his athletic excellence enabled him
to play football across the country. Â Starting at Notre Dame, Bill
then continued his career while in the armed forces, playing for the
United States Navy in 1945. Upon return to civilian life the following
year, Bill attended his alma mater, Yale, where he graduated in 1950
after studying Economics, History, and Politics.
He went on to work in the family business- Cirillo Brothers Petroleum.
It was around this time he met his soon-to-be wife of 65 years,
Barbara Morea. They met at a picnic and married a year later. The
couple moved to Pelham in 1953 and began their family. Barbra raised
the children while Bill displayed his characteristic intellect and
diligence, working long hours at a job he loved. Even at the age of
92, Bill was still found in his office entertaining life-long friends
and customers. His employees and colleagues described him as a fair,
understanding man loved by all. There was no such thing as half
portions with Bill. It was always, "Go big or Go home."
Despite his business acumen, Bill's lasting work was not success at
the office; it was at home, where he sculpted the lives of his
children with an unmatched intelligence and kindness; it was on fields
and schools where he spread his love of all things athletic; it was at
beaches and restaurants and kitchen tables where he regaled his
grandchildren with stories of baseball diamonds in Brooklyn, gridirons
across the country, and shipyards in San Diego.
William Cirillo will forever be remembered as a kind, charismatic, and
generous man who guided an adoring family. His legacy lives on with
his wife of 65 years Barbara Cirillo; his daughters, Janice (Joseph)
Gendusa and Jackie (Roland) Roeckle; his son Robert (Karen) Cirillo;
and his sister Monica Rippa. William is predeceased by his daughter
Constance Cirillo and his brother Nicholas Cirillo. He will be missed
by his many friends, customers, and the countless others whose life he
A Celebration of William's life will take place at the Pelham Funeral
Home located at 64 Lincoln Avenue, Pelham NY on Thursday, January 31st
from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on Friday February 1st at 11:30am.
Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers,
donations may be made in William's memory to St. Jude's Children's
Research Hospital. For more information or to leave a condolence
please visit www.pelhamfuneral.com.