Two brothers, Nicholas and Ralph Gismondi, who shared a lifelong bond, died days apart from coronavirus. Ralph had retired from the fire department with the rank of captain and was among the first personnel from the New York City Fire Department to respond to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
According to reports, both the brothers were infected with Covid-19 in March. Ralph was the first to be admitted to the hospital where he died in early April. A few days later Nicholas too was detected coronavirus positive and died a few days after being admitted to the same hospital. However, reports of the deaths of Ralph and Nicholas came to light five months later on Sunday.
Both Ralph, 68, and Nicholas, 65, were family men and loved being grandfathers, their widows said. Ralph was working as a flight attendant for JetBlue airlines after retiring from the New York City Fire Department. On March 17, Ralph entered hospital with symptoms of a cough, fever and shortness of breath. He tested positive for Covid-19 on March 19, while his wife Ann tested positive a few days later.
Ralph died on April 5 due to coronavirus complications. "I could not have a funeral for him. I did not have, you know, that closure. It was just a freaking nightmare," Ann told CNN. In fact, Ralph was also the first JetBlue employee to succumb to coronavirus.
However, Nicholas wasn't told about his brother's death as family members felt he wouldn't be able to bear the shock. However, On March 31, Nicholas and his wife too came down with coronavirus symptoms and went to the hospital, where they were diagnosed. Eighteen days later, or 12 days after Ralph's death, Nicholas also died from the virus.
Death Does them Apart
Born in Queens, New York, in the 1950s, they had eventually settled in Westfield, N.J., to raise their families. Ralph was an active member of the New York City Fire Department and played an integral role following the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center. He was among the first responders and saved the lives of several trapped under the debris of the twin towers.
Along with Ann, Lisa and Lori, Ralph is survived by his grandchildren, Ally, Kera, Elvis, Dylan and Summer. His friends and family attested to his great personality in his online obituary. "Simply the best, always made me feel happy" and "His kindness and friendship will always be remembered" were among the comments.
The younger Nicholas was equally popular. He was more popularly known as "Poppi" to those closest to him and was also an exceptional baseball and basketball player. He earned the Brooklyn/Queens Player of the Year award and was inducted into McClancy's Hall of Fame. Nicholas and Ralph are survived by their sister, Joanne, and their parents, Josephine, 93, and Nicholas, 96.