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Two years after Philip Joseph “PJ” Fusaro’s death due to COVID-19, his memory continues to live on as family, schoolchildren and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office celebrated his legacy Friday in his hometown of Shirley.

Donna and Phil Fusaro, PJ’s parents, were at times holding back tears during a ceremony at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School as Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. presented them with a special badge and posthumously named their son an honorary K-9 deputy sheriff.

Fusaro, a horticulturalist and animal lover who family members say was beloved in his community and dreamed of joining the sheriff's office K-9 unit, died May 3, 2020, after battling COVID-19. He was 25.

Donna Fusaro, a teaching assistant at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School, told Newsday after the ceremony that her son was “the love of my life.”

“My son was the most selfless, giving person you would want to meet,” his mother said. “He was the guy that you called when you were in trouble at 3 o’clock in the morning and he would get out of bed and go, ‘No problem, I’ll be right there.’ He was just that guy. He was just amazing.” ›› read more

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