FAIR LAWN, NJ - Gerry Genuino, a Fair Lawn School District bus driver, died yesterday after battling COVID-19.
“I am just hearbroken,” said Lori Rocconova, Fair Lawn Schools Transportation Director and Gerry’s boss. “Our department will never be the same. He was a kind-hearted man, so humble and never asked for anything in return.”
Genuino, 58, has been struggling with coronavirus "for the past few weeks," according to Nick Norcia, superintendent of Fair Lawn Schools.
"Gerry has been one of our beloved bus drivers in Fair Lawn," Norcia said in a letter to the district.
"This morning, April 22, at Fair Lawn’s Building and Grounds Department on Bergen Avenue, where Gerry picked up and dropped off his bus each day – Boy Scout Troop 60, along with Crew 53, gathered with Fair Lawn parents, Gerry’s colleagues from Buildings and Grounds, and the Fair Lawn Police Department to pay their respects," said Liz Wellinghorst, Community Relations Liaison for Fair Lawn Schools.
Gerry began his career as a custodian at Warren Point Elementary School in 2001 before becoming a bus driver, Norcia said.
He was a long-time resident of Fair Lawn, "respected and well-liked by everyone and will be remembered for his willingness to always lend a hand," Norcia said.
Norcia recounted one of Genuino's good Samaritan acts in October 2019.
"Gerry’s good Samaritan actions averted a potential disaster on Route 208 in Wyckoff," Norcia said. "As he was driving a group of students back to school from a field trip, Gerry extinguished a fire that broke out in the back of a truck bed. In true Gerry style, he jumped back in the bus – even before police arrived on the scene – to get the students back to school safely and on time."
There was a brief ceremony at the Buildings and Grounds this morning, April 22, where Memorial Middle School seventh-grader William Hansen, a Boy Scout with Troop 60, performed “Taps.”
"Our hearts go out to the students, families and staff members who knew Gerry," Wellinghorst said. "His love for Fair Lawn and our students made such an impact and was so great that he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones, and to his colleagues as we grieve his loss and remember a life well lived.
"Our thoughts go out to his family especially his wife and two daughters. Gerry will be in all of our memories for a long time, and when we resume normal activities, we will honor his memory," Norcia said.