Elmont native and Garden City resident, Paul J. Muscarella, a respected local attorney, died Oct. 11, 2010 of a malignant brain tumor. He was 47.
Best defined by his love of family, community and tradition, Paul is survived by his wife, Lori, and their four children, Jenna 15, Natalie 14, Matthew 12 and Diana 8.
Paul grew up surrounded by family and all the traditions of his Italian heritage. He was the second youngest of seven children by former Hempstead Town Councilman Joseph P. Muscarella and former Hempstead Commissioner for Senior Enrichment Cecelia Nizza. Following the death of his dad when Paul was still young and the remarriage of his mom years later to Matthew G. Nizza the family grew to include his three stepsisters, Claudia, Lisa, and Jeanine.
Shortly after graduating Sewanhaka High School, Paul appeared on Family Feud with four of his brothers, Vincent, Ignatius, Thomas and Michael (the fifth brother, Joseph, and his only sister, Beatrice, had to settle for cheering from the studio audience and decades of good-natured teasing since the five appearing brothers lost).
In 1988 Paul graduated St. John’s University School of Law but was uncertain of his future in the law. Any self-doubt ended, however, after a brief internship in the chambers of NY Supreme Court Judge, Hon. James Brucia convinced him that he could try cases as well as the attorneys he was able to observe each day in court. Paul promptly found a job as a trial attorney for Aetna Casualty Insurance and was defending all aspects of negligence litigation by December of that same year.
By then Paul was already committed to community involvement, having begun a 10-year stint as president of the Elmont North Little League in 1985, years before marriage and children. His service to Elmont as a young husband and recent father grew to include the positions of trustee and president of both the Elmont Community Coalition Council and the Elmont East End Civic Association, president of the Elmont North Republican Club, Sergeant at Arms of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce, member of the Order Sons of Italy, America Lodge 2245, and commissioner of Sanitary District 6.
In 1999 Paul joined with his current law partner Joseph DiRaimo to form the partnership of Muscarella & DiRamo, LLP, located on Nassau Blvd. in Garden City.
Following his move to Garden City, and with growing children, Paul’s community involvement turned toward sports, coaching or managing in the Garden City Athletic Association – girl’s soccer, boy’s soccer, baseball and football. But not exclusively as Paul was also a member of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, president of the Garden City Western Property Owner’s Association and associate counsel to former State Senator Michael Balboni.
When his mom, Cecelia, died several years ago, Paul and Lori happily took over Ceil’s tradition of regularly having the extended family over on Sundays for macaroni (traditional Italians don’t call it pasta) and shared in the rotation of hosting the major holidays, simply adding them to their regular roster of family gatherings celebrating birthdays, religious milestones and graduations.
Paul died as he lived – surrounded by family and with the support and love of his many friends in the Elmont and Garden City communities.