Mastic Beach’s Richie Tuscani Celebrates 100 Years

DSC_0011 (2)smmDSC_0016 (4)smDSC_0024 (2)smDSC_0031 (4)smDSC_0018 (2)smDSC_0030 (8)smDSC_0017 (1)smDSC_0037 (4)smDSC_0002DSC_0021 (4)Story and photos by Robert Chartuk

Friends and family turned out Saturday to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mastic Beach resident Richard John Tuscani at the American Legion Arthur H. Clune Post 1533.
The post on Mastic Beach Road was a fitting place for the party since Richie is an Army veteran and one of the last surviving World War Two vets in Suffolk County. Joining him were fellow veterans Sonny Venneri who served in the Navy on the Franklin D. Roosevelt carrier and Richard Reed, an Air Force pilot.
“I attribute my long years to clean living and having a great family” the Centenarian said, pointing out that he has never smoked or taken a drink. “In fact, when I was in the Army, the Captain made me his driver when he found out I didn’t drink,” said Tuscani who was born June 13, 1916, a year before World War One. He received Bronze Stars for his battle service in the Philippines, for liberating the Philippines, and surviving a Kamikaze attack.
Tuscani also noted that good genes had a hand in his longevity with his mother reaching 100, his dad 97, and his aunt living to 102.
Joining Richie to celebrate his 100 years were his two sisters, Gloria Mineo and Helen Camposa. His son Richard and daughter June Skidmore were also on hand along with two grandchildren and three greats.
Tuscani said he moved to Mastic Beach when he was 65 for a single reason, boating and fishing, and stayed for the people and the community. “I love the area and the people who live here. They have been so good to me.”
His hundred years had him serving as a New York City fireman, mail carrier, building inspector, dock master, and owner of an oil delivery business. One of his first jobs was with Ronzoni where he worked with the original family of the famous pasta company.
Legislator Kate Browning was on hand to issue a county proclamation. “I first met Richie when he was working as a monitor on one of my school buses,” she said. “Dad worked his entire life,” noted Richie, Jr. “He’s the only person I know who was eligible for unemployment when he was in his nineties.”

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