Hometown hero honored

By Matt Moran

Oswego, NY- “If you treat them right and put their concerns first, you will feel good about yourself.”

Words the late Fred Crisafulli lived by throughout his life. The Oswego native was honored Wednesday at City Hall in a tribute event that showed how involved he was in the community.

“I’m not sure how often he slept,” Mercedes Niess said.

From seeing action in the Korean War with the Navy, to being the first Tourism Director of Oswego, Crisafulli did it all.

“I’m sure he’ll never be forgotten in this city,” Donna Kestner said.

One can assume that as the tribute included story, after story, after story how Crisafulli impacted people’s lives. Including ones by Chris Mannoia, a former navy recruiter in Oswego who came all the way from Florida to share.

“Fred was loud,” Mannoia said. “Fred was profane, Fred was loving, Fred was warm, Fred was assertive, Fred was quiet and Fred was like that all rolled up into one, like a major storm off Lake Ontario

Along with the share of laughs, and tears, over the fallen hometown hero. Mayor Billy Barlow made an announcement.

“I declare that February 1st is officially Fredrick A. Crisafulli day in the City of Oswego,” Mayor Barlow said.

An honor for a man that always put others before himself. Something Mercedes Niess who helped plan the event and knew Fred for 26 years. Hopes others around the Oswego area will do as well to keep his memory alive.

“You always knew that he worked as hard as you, if not harder,” Niess said. “So how could you not be inspired by that.”

Crisafulli died on November 20th, 2016. He was 91 years old. At the event there were talks of a possible highway or statue to be dedicated in Crisafulli’s honor.