Michael J. Cerroni of Hamburg, a decorated Marine veteran of the Iraq War and a commodities buyer, died Sunday in a snowmobile accident in the village of Herrings, near Fort Drum. He was 28.
Born in Plattsburgh, Mr.
Cerroni was an accomplished wrestler at Carthage Central High School and graduated from Cortland State College. He a member of Pi Lambda Phi fraternity.
He joined the Marine Corps Reserve after high school and in 1999 was commissioned a lieutenant. He was stationed in California and North Carolina, serving as an infantry and intelligence officer.
While in California, he was given an award by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers after he helped save the life of a 16-year-old girl involved in a car crash. One of the first people on the scene of the crash, he removed the girl from the car and prevented her from choking.
Mr. Cerroni did two tours of duty in Iraq, receiving two Naval accommodation Medals with Valor and the Presidential Unit Citation Award. During his first tour of duty, he was designated one of the mayors of Baghdad.
Honorably discharged in September, he moved to Buffalo and began work as a commodities buyer for Baillie Lumber Co. and American Lumber Co., both in Hamburg.
A rugby player, Mr. Cerroni was an outdoorsman who enjoyed skiing, hunting and spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife of six years, the former Renee Long; a daughter, Sophia; a son, Gabriel; his mother, Patricia Strife and stepfather, Michael Strife of Carthage; and two brothers, Russell Strife of Carthage and Mark of Brooklyn.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Paul Catholic Church, Black River. Burial will be in Black River Cemetery.