Wake held for ex-MLB pitcher turned cop Anthony Varvaro
Anthony Varvaro, the Port Authority police officer who was killed by a wrong-way driver on his method to the 9/11 commemoration in Manhattan, was remembered as a “household man” and “function mannequin” at this Staten Island wake on Tuesday.
Some 300 mourners waited on line on the Matthew Funeral House in Westerleigh to pay their respects to Varvaro, who was a Main League Baseball pitcher earlier than turning into a cop in his native borough.
Household, pals and throngs of Varvaro’s brothers in blue wept whereas white poster boards embellished with images of the late officer enjoying baseball, posing with household and pals, and having fun with time on the seaside.
Varvaro, 37, was remembered as a “large officer” by Port Authority Police Superintendent Edward Cetnar.
“I imply there aren’t any phrases you’ll be able to say. We’re there for help,” Cetnar instructed reporters outdoors the funeral dwelling.
“And as a police division household [we’ll] do no matter we are able to for the household,” Cetnar mentioned referring to his widow Kerry and their 4 children — AJ, Johnny, Christina and Savannah.
“I couldn’t think about being on this younger girl’s place proper now with 4 younger youngsters. And we are able to always remember this younger man’s service to us,” Cetnar mentioned.
Varvaro was described by a lifelong household buddy as a “calm and quiet” household man who was dedicated to his youngsters.
He all the time wished to grow to be an officer after pitching for six years within the majors so he may spend extra time along with his household, mentioned the buddy, who recognized herself as Nubia.
“Though we knew he all the time wished soccer or baseball, he all the time wished to be a police officer as effectively,” Nubia mentioned of Anthony.
“He wished to be a household man. He didn’t need to be away on a regular basis. His precedence was his youngsters,” mentioned Nubia. “He didn’t like being away.”
Varvaro earned a legal justice diploma at St. John’s College earlier than being referred to as as much as the large leagues for six years. The aid pitcher spent most of his time with the Atlanta Braves but additionally performed ball for the Seattle Mariners and the Boston Pink Sox.
“It’s an incredible attribute to him that the place he got here from — enjoying main league baseball on the world’s greatest stage — after which his dream was to be a police officer, and he adopted that dream after residing his dream of being an expert baseball participant,” Heart mentioned.
After becoming a member of the pressure, Varvaro gave again to the group by mentoring youngsters on the division’s youth academy.
“Just lately, he was one of many key instructors in our youth academy that we simply began and serving as that function mannequin for youths locally,” Cetnar added.
Varvaro was killed close to Exit 14C of the New Jersey Turnpike round 4:25 a.m. Sunday as he made his method to the World Commerce Heart to guard the annual solemn remembrance ceremony.
Henry Plazas, 30, of Bridgewater, NJ was additionally killed within the crash, police mentioned. He was allegedly driving the mistaken method on the turnpike when he hit Varvaro head-on.
“The coincidence of this occurring on September 11 when he’s on his method to work a safety element for paying homage to the oldsters we always remember — we misplaced 37 officers on that day —and he was a part of the safety element for that,” Cetnar mentioned.
A second wake was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon forward of a funeral Mass at Our Woman of Good Counsel Church and a burial at St. Peter’s Cemetery Thursday.