Basil Pezzotto of Saddle Brook, a respected teacher, firefighter, and church music director, passed away unexpectedly, leaving countless people who knew him defeated, bereaved, and a little distraught.
The day before he and his loved ones were due to celebrate his 50th birthday Thanksgiving, on Wednesday, November 23, Pizzuto, assistant principal of Ridgewood High School, was at work when he developed an aortic aneurysm.
Everyone who knew and loved Pezzuto felt a stomach ache, from the town’s St. Philip the Apostle Church to the Saddle Brook Fire Department to the village public schools.
Details of Basil Pezzotto’s obituary are not yet known. The cause of death is also still unknown.
Capt. Pizzuto has served in the Saddle Brook Volunteer Fire Department for over 30 years. Hiring a math teacher in 1998 from Catholic Paramus State and Montclair was followed by positions as Class Principal and, finally, one of the two Associate Principal positions in the high school.
Tributes were sent his way
After hearing of Hesse’s death on Thursday morning, his classmates and colleagues mourned him.
“This is such a huge and painful loss. I really can’t believe this is true,” she said. said Leslie Ward, primary office secretary for the Ridgewood School District.
The fact that Pizzuto introduced The Giving Tree, written by Shel Silverstein, to some of the many kids he mentored says a lot about his character.
Ward commented It was larger than life in every sense of the word. The one you go to for so many things. Everyone who knew him adored him. He was the father of two sons as well as many children. He is always surrounded by his colleagues who trust him, look up to him, and consider him a friend.
Saddlebrook firefighter Vincenzo Iquez said: You had the charisma that just lit up the room. I will sorely miss seeing you in the firehouse on Tuesday nights and on fire calls. One of my favorite days of the week.
Joe DaCosta commented, Words wouldn’t really explain what kind of person he was. A true friend who is ready to help everyone. A fun loving individual and a true patriarch. Dear brother of the brothers.
Tommy Hayes, who started playing with Pizzuto in St. Philip of 18 years ago, he will miss the director’s hysterical keyboard playing, especially the upbeat Christian music they created.
Hayes said, “I feel so lost. Our music is no longer there, and Basil passed away.”
Joe Brett commented: “Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family on behalf of the Scouts and leaders of Saddle Brook Pack 222, past and present. He has always been a great leader and a good friend to the Scouts and willing to help us.”