Wayne Mastrangelo, 1967-2014

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But Leahy will miss Mastrangelo more than just as a colleague. He described his close friend as regular guy who did extraordinary things. “He was such a good person, just one of these people that you don’t meet every day,” Leahy said. “He would treat people the way he wanted to be treated.”

McAleer, raising two sons a few years younger than Mastrangelo’s, said his friend and colleague was always good for some advice on fatherhood. “He was just a wealth of knowledge,” McAleer said, “not just sanitation but life.”

Pride in his work

Fare said Mastrangelo was the driving force behind developing plans to have the abandoned incinerator demolished. The building has been unused since the late 1970s, and Mastrangelo dreamed of a state-of-the-art transfer station.

The first step, tearing down the building, is expected to happen in the coming weeks. “It’s so sad that he’s not going to see that building come down,” Fare said. “It breaks my heart that he’s not going to see the fruit of his labor. This is his baby.”

Two years ago, Trustee Vincent Grasso suggested an electronic recycling program in Valley Stream. Mastrangelo found a company that would buy items such as old televisions and computers so the village wouldn’t have to pay to have them carted away.

For the past three years, Fare has hosted a Mayor for a Day program, giving two sixth-graders a look into the village’s operations. The first stop was always the Sanitation Department. Francese said it was one of Mastrangelo’s favorite days of the year. He also hosted the scouts on several occasions, and would go to the schools to talk about the electronic recycling program. She noted that he was all about helping the community.

“He took the utmost pride in his job,” she said. “This is a man that never took a sick day.”

Wayne’s brother, Ronnie, said family was most important to Wayne — his sons were his pride and joy — and his village family was a close second. Although the two were separated by 16 years, Ronnie said he looked up to his younger brother.
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