Last Wednesday I received the call that everybody dreads, it was a call from my sister-in-law Steph telling me that my brother Gene had passed away. He was the oldest of the seven children in my family. Gene had lost his battle with cancer.

Gene lived on Long Island with his beautiful wife Steph and their beautiful and talented daughter, Samantha. Sam is an awesome singer and even sang at my wedding. The last time I saw Gene was in our hometown just after Christmas. He looked good and we were all thinking things were looking up, but the last two and a half weeks were not kind to him.

My brother, who as a young man was just six months away from becoming a priest, decided to go another route and work in radio. He started in 1978 in Scranton and from there he worked on Long Island and in New York City. He worked for such huge stations as WALK, 1010WINS, and WCBS, and taught communications classes at St. John’s University in New York City, and at Five Towns College on Long Island.

Gene was a strong man who was kind to everyone he met. He was very generous, smart and funny, too. At the wake and funeral people that worked for him and people that he worked for all said the same thing and all the stories were the same, “Gene was one of the nicest, friendliest people I ever met”, it echoed over and over with each visitor.

A lot of the people that were there were people that my brother hired for their first radio job. His students came out to pay their last respects saying what a great teacher he was. Managers that he worked for were saying that the success of the station was because of Gene’s hard work. He really was the hardest working person I know.

My brother Gene might have been a huge influence on a lot of people, but none more than me.