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Former Islander, an Army veteran, was a skilled carpenter who worked for the Port Authority
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Staten Island Advance

SALVATORE ARGILA, 82
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.
-- Longtime Staten Island resident Salvatore Argila, 82, a skilled carpenter who worked in a variety of capacities for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, died Friday at his home in Freehold, N.J.

Born in Brooklyn in 1926, Mr. Argila's family relocated several times, once to Narrowsburg, N.Y., and once to northern New Jersey, before eventually settling on Staten Island.  Mr. Argila graduated from McKee High School, where he studied the trade of carpentry. He enlisted in the Army after graduation.  He arrived in Europe at the conclusion of World War II and spent his service time patrolling occupied Germany.  After his return to the Island, Mr. Argila married Antoinette Collo in 1950. 

The couple raised five children together.  A few years later, Mr. Argila went to work as a Goethals Bridge toll taker for the Port Authority.  Shortly after, he became a Port Authority policeman, before finally being promoted to the position of maintenance supervisor at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens.  He retired in the late 1980s.

Mr. Argila had moved his family to Willowbrook in 1960, after completing work on an Auburn Avenue home.  He built the structure with his own hands.  They would remain there for 23 years until the couple's divorce. Following the separation, Mr. Argila relocated several times before settling in Freehold. 

In his youth, Mr. Argila enjoyed playing the guitar and hunting.  The former member of the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge in Port Richmond also was an avid fisherman who never lost the desire to work with his hands, according to his son, Gregory Argila.  Mr. Argila, known as Uncle Tudy to his family and close friends, will be remembered for his magnetic personality.  "He was a very well-liked man," said his son.  "He was kind and always upbeat. He was generally the person that everyone was just drawn to."

In addition to his son, Gregory, Mr. Argila is survived by two more sons, Steven and Russell Argila; two daughters, Christine Delmar and Camille Maternaghan; two brothers, Joseph and George Argila; a sister, Jowina Argila, and 10 grandchildren.

The funeral will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the John Vincent Scalia Home for Funerals, Eltingville. Burial will follow in George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, N.J.

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