This story is part of Loved and Lost, a statewide media collaboration working to celebrate the life of every New Jersey resident who died of COVID-19. To learn more and submit a loved one’s name to be profiled, visit lovedandlostnj.com.
He was the life of the party, a jokester, a family man and the kind of “go-to” friend you call when you need support.
Even when illness left him in need of assistance, David Mariconda advocated for the welfare and happiness of his new neighbors in a nursing home.
The Paterson native was 63 when he died on April 9, 2020. But he made the most of his short life and is likely still cheering for his beloved New York Rangers, his family says.
“He was a Yankees, Giants and Rangers fan,” said his wife, the former Therese “Tammy” Doyle. “But his big thing was the Rangers. I mean, he was a really big Rangers fan.”
He shared some of that hockey passion with his children, Gregory and Timothy.
“He was a great father,” Tim Mariconda said. “Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts. He was a roller hockey coach for a couple of years.”
Tammy said it was hard for Dave to get to games and other family events, but always did his best, even when he was working full time in Manhattan.
He worked in the computer payroll division of the U.S. Postal Service at its massive facility in Manhattan, across the street from Madison Square Garden.
When that division was moved, he became a director for ADP, working in Jersey City and Roselend while raising his family in Fairfield.
Mariconda was known for elaborate Christmas decorations at his home and Fourth of July celebrations.
“Christmas, he decorated every inch of the outside with lights and blowups,” Tim said. “Fourth of July, we were known for having an awesome barbecue and fireworks display.”
Laid off after 9/11, Mariconda went into real estate before health issues got the better of him.
“His heath declined in his 40s and then at 50 he had a bad stroke,” Tammy recalled. “He went through a lot medically. The doctor said he had nine lives.”
His challenges did not dull his personality or humor.
“He always had a story, and he was one of those people who would embellish the story a little bit, you know?” Tammy said. “His mind was sharp as a tack, even if his body would not do what he wanted it to.”
Mariconda also was known for some groan-inducing jokes.
“He loved watermelon, and he told his nieces he swallowed seeds so there was a watermelon inside his big belly,” Tammy said.
But all jokes aside, Mariconda also had a passion for helping people. As his health declined further, including a need for dialysis, Mariconda took up residence at a skilled nursing home.
“He became an advocate, first for stroke survivors and was on the board of the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey,” Tammy said. “He met with then-Gov. Richard Codey. He won awards. He was an advocate for the residents who could not speak for themselves. He organized trips, movie nights, game nights, parties.”
Looking back, Tammy has one regret.
“Right after he passed away we found out our older son and his wife were having a baby,” she said. “He always wanted grandchildren. He always wanted to be called Pop-Pop. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”
William Westhoven is a local reporter for DailyRecord.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.