West Islip Resident Receives 'Spectacular' Parade On 99th Birthday
West Islip Resident Receives 'Spectacular' Parade On 99th Birthday

West Islip Resident Receives 'Spectacular' Parade On 99th Birthday

WEST ISLIP, NY — Around his 96th birthday, Anthony Scuderi proclaimed a pipe dream sort of wish.

“If I ever reach 99 or 100, I want a parade to come down the block,” he told his family.

Maria Scuderi, his daughter, put that idea in the back of her head.

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“He may have been kidding? But I took it seriously,” she told Patch.

With the help of friends, family and the community, Maria made Anthony’s dream come true.

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On Thursday afternoon — Anthony’s 99th birthday — the West Islip Fire Department, highway patrol, Suffolk County Police, and Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter drove by their Briarwood Avenue home in West Islip, to celebrate the beloved WWII veteran.

“Really, it was spectacular,” Maria said.

More than 30 trucks and cars with yellow flags graced the house, which Anthony and his wife, Anne, have lived in since 1951.

Dozens of former co-workers also traveled from out of state, just to visit Anthony. Due to his background, it’s easy to see why, Maria said.

Anthony was born March 16, 1924, in New York City. He attended Long Island University, earning a bachelor’s of science in accounting and an MBA in accounting from New York University.

After serving in the Air Force during World War II, Anthony became a special agent for the FBI for 25 years, specializing in white-collar crime and organized crime. He then worked for the Medicaid fraud office for Long Island under the Attorney General, as the chief investigator for another 25 years.

He later conducted background checks as a consultant for the FBI until the age of 85.

During his career, Anthony trained other agents, Maria said. Many of his former trainees attended the event, to thank him for positively impacting his life.

“I could hear them all telling my dad how much he has meant to them, and to their careers,” she said.

Supervisor Carpenter also attended the event and presented Anthony with a proclamation.

“Anthony is a pillar in our Town,” said Supervisor Carpenter in a statement. “He is beloved by family, friends, and former colleagues, many of whom turned out today to wish Anthony well. He is the shining example of an exemplary public servant who has spent his career and even beyond making a difference in this world.”
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Maria told Patch she only started planning the event in early February, when she reached out to a friend who knew the fire department chief. She also reached out to a friend who was retired with the police department.

Once both departments confirmed the date and time, Maria made a Facebook group and invited Anthony’s former co-workers.

Many people quickly became involved, she said.

“That snowballed, because once we contacted one former coworker, they passed the word to other former co-workers,” Maria said. “I was just shocked at all, you know, it all fell into place.”

On Thursday morning, the family “snuck” a birthday sign on their front lawn, that said “Happy Birthday,” and a phrase Anthony often shares: “There are no heroes in law enforcement, only dedicated public servants.”

In the afternoon, all involved parties arrived at a meeting point near the house. Every car dawned a special flag, to honor Anthony.

“I was blown away at just how many organizations there were,” she said. “All of them pulling through and really going the extra mile.”

Luckily, everything went according to plan. At about 12:45 p.m., Maria’s brothers brought Anthony out to their driveway.

“My brother said, ‘We have a surprise for you’,” she said. “He didn’t really say much. I think he kind of knew something was going on.”

When the parade started, Maria said her father was “speechless.”

“I thought my father would cry, but he didn’t,” she said. “That was probably one of the happiest moments I’ve ever seen him in — just a smile from ear to ear.”

The secret to her Anthony’s longevity, Maria said, are a few things. Not only does he exercise every day and follows a Mediterranean diet, but he has the love of his life, Anne.

“My parents have been married 71 years, and they’re still very much in love,” she said. “They toast every night, drink a glass of red wine every night. And they say, I love you.”

Maria said she’s so happy to have done this for her father, to show how much people appreciate him.

“Not only did we make his wish come true, but that he got to see all the people that he impacted in his life, that he really made an impression upon,” she said.

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