A Mr. Fixit
If Peter Chirchirillo did not care for you, he would be nice and polite. But if he really loved you, his wife said, poor you.
Mr. Chirchirillo, 47, a project manager with Marsh USA, had a knack for showing his affection in exuberant ways, his wife, Clara Chirchirillo, said. For a favorite cousin, he bought a welcome mat he put out any time she came to visit. "Go Away," it read. For large weekend gatherings of family or friends at his home, he would set at least five alarm clocks for 7 p.m. and when they all rang, he would announce: "It's time to go home, everybody. Get out."
His wife of 21 years explained, "He liked to torture people." But she said her husband was really a teddy bear. He was a regular Mr. Fixit, always ready to help, she said. He was sentimental, and "my feelings always came first."
Eight years ago, he agreed to move his family from his native Canarsie, Brooklyn, to Langhorne, Pa., for a safer environment for his two sons, Michael, 18, and Nick, 14. That meant a four-hour round-trip commute to his office at the World Trade Center. Mrs. Chirchirillo said her sons were following in their father's footsteps. "If I walk out, they lock the door and they make sure I don't have the keys with me," she said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 8, 2001.