Beloved Local Firefighter Dies from Coronavirus

st. marys

St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic.

By Bryan Perez, Staff Reporter

Beloved local firefighter Israel Tolentino, 33, succumbed to the coronavirus COVID-19 and died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic early on March 31. 

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora told The Boulevard:He was a true blessing to all of our communities and leaves a beautiful legacy of caring and giving. Our firefighters, police, EMTs, all of our emergency and first responders are our everyday heroes and deserve to be honored appropriately.”

Tolentino was laid to rest on April 2 at East RidgeLawn Cemetery in Clifton. He leaves behind his wife, Maria, a son, 7, and a daughter, 9. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy mentioned Tolentino at a press conference on April 1, saying: “By all accounts an incredible guy, and somebody who we mourn with his family friends.”

Mayor Lora publicly announced Tolentino’s death via a Facebook post.

“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the Line of Duty death of Passaic FF Israel Tolentino 33 years old, FF Tolentino courageously fought this illness but succumbed to complications from the COVID-19,” the post read.

Tolentino served as an EMT on his days off, according to the mayor. 

“He served our community as a firefighter, as an EMT, and as a volunteer CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member,” the mayor said. “Along with his wife and family, they ran coat drives for needy families in our city.”

Mr. Tolentino truly loved his city and loved helping his community. Passaic will forever remember his bravery. Eternal Rest and Eternal Memory be granted to him!

Read more about Mr. Tolentino on the Wayne Patch website.