Kathy Picarello met her future husband in 1972 at a summer camp in North Jersey. She was a counselor at the girls’ camp, and he was the head counselor at the nearby boys’ camp.

They started talking, and —

“He was warm and welcoming,” she said. “He always had a smile. He was an optimist. He was a special guy.”

At summer’s end, Larry went back to Brooklyn, N.Y., and Kathy went back to Clifton, N.J. But Larry had Kathy’s phone number.

And one telephone call led to another, and —

“We got married in 1976,” she said.

Mr. Picarello, 71, died on Wednesday, April 15, of COVID-19 at Southern Ocean County Hospital.

Mr. Picarello with his wife Kathy and their grandchildren. He loved the beach and water.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Picarello with his wife Kathy and their grandchildren. He loved the beach and water.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Picarello earned a master’s degree in health policy, planning, and administration from New York University. Over the next 30 years, he worked mainly in operations and social services for brokerage firms.

After he retired, he took a volunteer job doing the books for Coastal Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM), which provides health care for the uninsured. A year later, after CVIM officials became aware of his impressive resumé, Mr. Picarello became the group’s chairman of the board of trustees.

“He was compassionate and kind, while being practical and hard-working,” the board wrote in a tribute. “His sense of humor was always present, and most of all he was a good friend.”

Mr. Picarello and his wife set up house in Clifton, and raised son Michael and daughter Gabrielle. He coached Michael in baseball and soccer, and never missed a chance to drive Gabrielle to dance lessons. He was good at puns, and family and friends sought his advice about practically everything.

Mr. Picarello and wife Kathy traveled often. Here they are at Ushuaia (Fin del Mundo), Argentina.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Picarello and wife Kathy traveled often. Here they are at Ushuaia (Fin del Mundo), Argentina.

He loved cruises and water, and the family spent summer vacations at Long Beach Island. They moved to LBI full-time after he retired around 2010, and he and his wife toured Europe and South America, and cruised all over the world. He was spiritual and known for his integrity.

“He was always out to help the unfortunate,” his wife said. “He thought everyone was entitled to health care, and he was generous with his time and talent.”

In addition to his wife and children, Mr. Picarello is survived by four grandchildren.

Gary Miles, gmiles@inquirer.com