Thomas Avitabile, a 44-year member of the Wantagh Fire Department and former captain, has died. He was 62.

The chief’s office, board of fire commissioners, officers and members of Company 1 and the Wantagh Fire Department announced his death Friday morning.

Avitabile was a former captain of Squad 1, the fire department said in a news release. A Wantagh native, he attended Wantagh public schools and graduated from Wantagh High School. Avitabile worked for years at Grumman in Bethpage and Olympus.

He remained in Wantagh and was married to his wife, Linda, for 39 years. He is survived by his sister Theresa and her husband, Russ Langlois, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Avitabile was a very active member of the department and one of the most reliable drivers of Rescue 1 and Squad 1, the department said, particularly for daytime alarms when manpower is often critical. He was also an active member of the hazardous materials, or hazmat, team and the dive team.Subscribe

He was a former president and longtime trustee of Wantagh Hook, Ladder and Engine Company 1, and had been serving as a department trustee before his death.

Former Chief Bruce Sparke, who is currently captain of Ladder 1 and a longtime friend of Avitable, told Patch in a statement that Avitable was a good friend and a “big asset” to the fire department.

“He was a very active and well respected firefighter and he will be missed,” Sparke said.

A visitation is planned from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Wantagh Abbey. Department services are planned at 8 p.m. Friday.