Category Archives: In Memoriam

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans (Women Vet)--continued

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans

Meet the Art and Design women veterans.


 Beatriz Trujillo, Art and Design class of 2008 is in her fourth year in active duty — United States Army. Sergeant Trujillo’s Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is 27D, Paralegal. She’s a paratrooper assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and her current deployment is with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Sergeant Trujillo is presently deployed at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Janet Gonzalez was a 25 year career navy personnel. This writer’s high school classmate. She was a fun person to be around, nice and truly missed. Janet passed away in January 2014 of breast cancer.

Deirdre Wexler, class of 1974 joined the navy right out of high school.

Charon Hannink, class of 1975 is a 13 year navy veteran.

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans (Vietnam)--continued

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans

Vietnam War (1955-1975)

PFC Eric Ribitsch was in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was killed in action–South Vietnam in 1968 under hostile enemy fire. A sketch of his fiance which he kept was found in his wallet.

CPL Ghalib Ahmed Abdullah
SIA Class 1960
Sunrise 2.16.1943  |  Sunset 1.31.1968
Ghalib Ahmed Abdullah was in the 20th Engineer Brigade, was killed in action –South Vietnam in 1968 under hostile enemy fire.





Nestor A. Rodriguez
A&D Class 1962
Sunrise 1.29.1944  |  Sunset 12.16.2008
Nestor A. Rodriguez majored in modeling at Art & Design and was a navy veteran.

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In Remberance, 2014

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Tribute to Art & Design alumni who have passed on this year. Live, love… life.


The Passing of a Music Legend
Frankie Knuckles


We’re sad to report that legendary dj and A&D alumnus Frankle Knuckles has passed away. The dance community lost a pioneer who’s been referred to as “the Godfather of house” for bringing dance/club music to a new level. For those who “haunted” the dance clubs of the late 1970s thru the early 1980’s mourn the lost of another artist. Francis Nicholls attended Art & Design in the early 1970s and went on to attend FIT before moving to Chicago. The rest, well… you know. To read more about life and career of Frankie Knuckles, the New York Times and RollingStone Magazine wrote a very nice wrap up.

Joseph Leon (aka Doc Sunshine)

Joseph Leon

It’s with great sadness to report, the passing of alumnus Joseph Leon, who graduated from the School of Industrial Art in 1960. Leon, aka Doc Sunshine passed away peacefully on Friday, April 4th.  He was a native New Yorker and later became an award-winning commercial artist.  Leon who was of Native American (Taino), Puerto Rican and Czech descent had a passion for the Native American culture which led him into the world of fine art. Donations in his name are being sent to SaveKitty Foundation and Native American Indian Scholarship Fund. A memorial service will be held in July.


Janet Gonzalez

Janet Gonzalez, class of 1980 lost her battle with breast cancer and passed away on January 13, 2014. Janet was a career navel personnel, retiring in 2013 after 25 years of service. Thank you Janet for your service to our country.

Charles Michael Policastro

Charles Michael Policastro, 77, of Hookstown, died peacefully Wednesday afternoon, February 26, 2014, in the home that he built with his beloved wife at his side.

Born July 20, 1936, in Brooklyn, NY, he was a son of the late Charles and Mary (Gerardi) Policastro. He attended New York School of Industrial Arts and was founder and president of Policastro Construction Inc. His creative artistry will live on through his legacy and will be treasured by his family for years to come. His single goal in life was his devotion to and well being of his family.

Horace Salop, former Art & Design History teacher

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Horace Salop, former Art & Design History teacher passed away on October 25, 2013. Mr. Salop is remembered as an excellent teacher who taught his students to think independently, had a great sense of humor and was compassionate. Mr. Salop was 86 years old when he passed.