RUDY M. FIORVANTI
Devoted Family Man, a Special Person
By Jim Nordland
Rudy Fiorvanti was a 1970 Massapequa High School alumnus who passed away peacefully at his home in East Northport, NY, this past April. He was surrounded by his loving family, his wife Patricia, sons Michael and Patrick, along with his daughters, Annie and Christie. Rudy was stricken with a deadly disease, leukemia, last year and battled throughout the last months of his life. He showed extreme courage before he succumbed, he was 55. Rudy Michael Fiorvanti was born on February 13,1952 and raised in Massapequa where he attended St. Rose of Lima and Massapequa HS. Rudy was a rare three sport athlete and lettered in football, wrestling and lacrosse in high school. In his senior year, he led his football team to an undefeated season and was selected as an all-county lineman. A high school teammate, Tim Granowitz, a two-time state place winner said, "Rudy was a born leader and was respected by everyone." In wrestling, he won numerous tournaments, including the South Shore Championship in the 167-pound class. In that title match, Rudy defeated Russ Poore of East Meadow, 2-1, and would later finish as a Nassau County Championship finalist. Poore avenged his only loss of the year with an identical 2-1 verdict in the county final and went on to claim the New York State Championship. Poore finished the season with that one loss to Fiorvanti. Although Rudy wasn't a state wrestling champion, he was a true champion none the less. Rudy's high school coach, the legendary Al Bevilacqua stated, "Rudy spoiled me as a young coach, because I thought every athlete was self-motivated like him."Bevilacqua also added, "He was one of my great ones." Gary Mims, an assistant coach at MHS in 1970, said at his National HS Hall-of-Fame induction, "Coaching a person like Rudy Fiorvanti is what coaching is all about." Rudy attended Nassau CC, where he was undefeated in wrestling and entered the National Junior Championships, as the second ranked wrestler in the nation. He later attended Hofstra University and received athletic scholarships in three sports. Rudy would also be named captain of those teams and earned All-Conference recognition in all three sports. He was a qualifier at the 1975 NCAA Wrestling Championships. In his opening bout, he defeated Bob Steele (Wyoming), 6-3. In his quarterfinal match, he dopped a 5-2 decision to Sythell Thompson (Cal Poly ) and was eliminated from the competition. After graduation, he worked as a South Shore ocean lifeguard at Tobay Beach for the past 37 years and was involved in beach competion teams, including the line pull rescue. He led Tobay to numerous championships against the best squads on Long Island and the Eastern seaboard. Also, at Tobay he captured awards at the Tyler Lynde Memorial Boat Race, with his rowing partner and lifelong friend, Gary Jaeger. Jaeger stated, "Having spent my life sharing in a good portion of Rudy's, I can say, his volume is an outline, we can all take pages from. He left us without regrets and felt blessed by the love of his wife, kids, family and friends that filled his heart with such joy, he always knew how to Feel the Goodness." Rudy also founded Action Fitness, a sports and fitness superstore where he was the president in the family owned business since 1982. Rudy's brother, Ed, is now currently the presiding officer in the company, at the Hauppauge based superstore. Rudy is also survived by his other brothers,Thomas and Jack, along with his younger sister, Mary. Rudy was the Operations Manager and coordinator for The Mat Slap, a popular wrestling website and an annual publication. Tony Nordland, co-editor and a close friend of the Fiorvanti familly, commented, " Rudy was a doer, he made so many dreams come true." The most important part of Rudy's life was his family, which always came first, followed by his close friends. Rudy provided everything for his family and would do anything for his many friends which included fellow lifeguards, Bill Arnold, Dan Donahue, Chuck Pulsinelli, Tim Cummins, the Nordlands, Jack Hanifan, John McGovern, along with the Dohertys, Jeff Considine, Steve Zimmer, Phil Marino and Craig Jaeger. Jaeger, who now resides in Adelaide, South Australia, said, "Rudy was a mountain of a man and though it was his time, this world will be at a loss without him." He was respected, revered and loved by everyone. His legacy is a caring, compassionate and a benevolent person, with a heart of gold. He brought so much to the table, and if you were a friend of Rudy's, it was for a lifetime. In a book witten by Tom Rath, Vital Friends, The People You Can't Afford To Live Without, the author describes eight vital roles: builder, champion, collaborator, companion, connector, energizer, mind opener and navigator, Rudy possessed all of those characteristics. A close friend commented, "He did so much for everyone and always gave of himself, he went above and beyond." Rudy also helped to make Tobay Beach a great place to work, and created the family type of atmosphere that it is today. Others added, "Sunday will never be the same at Tobay." Rudy was a person that comes along once in a lifetime. Another close friend said, "God will never ask you to carry a stone that is too heavy", but the passing of Rudy Fiorvanti is a huge loss and has been difficult for everyone that knew him. He will be missed tremendously and always be remembered. This past Labor Day, at Tobay Beach, an annual event,"The Rudy Fiorvanti Rescue " was established along with a memorial dedication in the honor of our beloved friend. The event was attended by over 500 people and was a true testament to him. His loving wife of 31 years, Patricia said, "Rude was a man of strong faith, he had a lot of strength and had a quiet confidence." she also added. "He was a very humble man and put us all on a pedastal." That was Rudy's way, his family and friends always came first and he did everything with his calm and clever demeanor. At the dedication, a moving tribute film produced professionally by Sole Studio Productions was shown and the songs selected were ,The Beatles', In My Life and Tina Turner's, The Best. To everyone, Rudy M. Fiorvanti was "The Best", he was the epitome of a husband, father and friend, a person that would do anything for you. At the 30th annual " Doppy Open Golf Classic", a memorial tournament in the honor of the late George K. Doherty, a former Berner HS wrestling coach and Tobay Beach lifeguard captain, the 2007 Tournament was dedicated to Rudy Fiorvanti. To date, their have been three memorial scholarhips named in Rudy's honor; The Tobay Beach Lifeguards, the Massapequa Community Fund and St. Anthony's High School. Family was the most important part of Rudy's life. Patty is working part time at Action Fitness, Michael recently passed his Law Boards, Annie is a graduate assistant and coaching volleyball at Providence, Christie is attending Georgetown University and Patrick, a junior at St. Anthony's, participates in football, wrestling and lacrosse- just like his Dad. Everyone knows that Rudy is watching over them and is extremely proud of their perseverance. We all miss him so much and know that he will be "Forever in our Hearts". We will always love you! May God Bless him and his loving family.