Cesare Cerchiai

Sept. 2, 1938 - Jan. 23, 2014
Cesare Cerchiai Sept. 2, 1938 - Jan. 23, 2014

       Cesare Cici Cerchiai, a 24-year veteran of the East Hampton Town Police Department, died at Southampton Hospital last Thursday of a pulmonary embolism. He was 75 years old.

       One of five children, he was born in the Bronx on Sept. 2, 1938, to Brunetto Cerchiai and the former Ruth Dschenfzig. His family moved to Amityville, where Mr. Cerchiai graduated from Amityville High School. Upon graduation, he joined the Navy, serving aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Cotten as a radioman.

       After his service, he attended the Suffolk County Police Academy, and joined the East Hampton Town Police Department when he passed the police exam.

       “He loved police work and the camaraderie he had with the other officers,” his daughter Stephanie Cerchiai of East Hampton said yesterday.

       In February of 1964, he married the love of his life, Carolyn Diamandis. The two lived from then until his death in the same house on Pembroke Drive in Springs.

       The couple raised three children in that house, all of whom survive. Their other daughter, Michelle Severance, lives in Sag Harbor, and their son, Michael Cerchiai, lives in San Francisco.

       He was always part of the community and loved working with young people, his family said. With the police, he was in the juvenile squad. He also volunteered to work with the P.B.A.’s track team for eighth and ninth graders for 10 years. Over the years, he chaperoned numerous field trips for probably thousands of young people, his family said. He helped coach East Hampton High School’s football team, and coached sports at the Springs School, as well. He also coached the woman’s field and track team at Madison Square Garden for the Juvenile Squad.

       He was a board member of the East Hampton Kiwanis Club and helped sell Christmas trees to raise money for the organization. He was also a member of the Springs Fire Department, and achieved the rank of second lieutenant in Company Number Two, and he was a coach of the department’s Little League team.

       Mr. Cerchiai was a dedicated coin collector, bowler, and golfer, and worked part time at the Maidstone Club as a security guard after he retired, giving him the chance to play golf there, as well.

       He loved his wife and family dearly, and loved taking long walks with them, they said. He also enjoyed cruises with his wife to a number of tropical island destinations.

       “He loved East Hampton,” Stephanie Cerchiai said. “He loved the small town feel, he loved the people. He always had a smile on his face and always had a kind word for everyone.”

       Besides his children, he is also survived by two brothers, George Cerchiai of Miami and Michael Adams of Beauford, S.C., and a sister, Audrey Pauler of Georgia, as well as two grandchildren.

       He will be cremated in a private ceremony. The family has suggested contributions to the East Hampton Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 1902, East Hampton 11937, or the Springs Fire Department, 179 Fort Pond Boulevard, East Hampton.