John Michael Romanelli of Southold died Jan. 3 at Stony Brook University Medical Center at the age of 47. He suffered extensive burns Dec. 30, when he was caught in a fireball after a fuel line ruptured and biofuel being offloaded from a tanker truck sprayed out and ignited.
He was born Aug. 13, 1964, in Plainview to Pat and Loda (Pizzo) Romanelli. He earned an associate degree in 1984 from York College in York, Pa., and married his fiancée, Heather, on March 28, 1987, in Huntington.
A former Southold Town councilman, Mr. Romanelli was president of Burt’s Reliable Inc. in Southold. He had been an Eagle Scout, was named Suffolk Times Business Person of the Year in 2008 and belonged to the North Fork Chamber of Commerce.
He enjoyed swimming, skiing and spending time at his beachfront home with family and friends, they said.
Mr. Romanelli is survived by his wife; his son, Ethan; his daughter, Tara; his parents; and his brothers, Martin and Paul, and their families.
Visiting hours will take place Thursday, Jan. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 6, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue. A service will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Southold, Pastor Peter Kelley officiating. Interment will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport or Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Burn Center.