JOSEPH L. DI PILATO: Blooms to Fill
year the chrysanthemums have not been planted in front of
Joseph L. Di Pilato's home. Each morning, Phyllis Buono
looks out her window in Staten Island at Mr. Di Pilato's
house across the street. She notices that the impatiens,
their blooms past, are still there, and she remembers
that Joe Di Palato, her friend, is gone.
Mr. Di Pilato, 57, was an electrician who for the past
22 years had done work for Morgan Stanley in the World
Trade Center. By avocation, though, he was a gardener.
Each season he would put in new plants as if he were
striving for year-round blooms.
"He set that yard up like it was a resort," Mrs. Buono
said. "In the spring the flower pots would explode with
Mr. Di Pilato's wife, Maria, met him when they were
growing up in Little Italy but did not discover he was a
gardener until they moved to Staten Island with their
sons, Leo, now 32, and Joseph, now 31. "He didn't like
the flowers I bought, so he started planting," she said.
"He loved going out in the yard. His backyard had to be