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Ernest Tallarico, 94

TimesLedger Newspapers

Ernest Tallarico, 94

Ernest Oscar “Ernie” Tallarico, who had ties to the Community Church of Little Neck, died Feb. 23 in Lutz, Fla. He was 94.

Born into a musical family, his father was a cellist for the Tallarico Orchestra in the early l900s. His mother, a piano teacher, was responsible for giving composer Cy Coleman his first keyboard lessons.

Tallarico served in the U.S. Army in World War II, shuttling supplies across the lagoons of New Guinea and the Philippines. He was a professional saxophone player, earning his bread and butter for 70 years as a piano tuner for Manhattan hotels and theaters.

Ernie was a master mechanic in the piano-tuning world, crafting special fittings as needed in wood and metal and could be found working into his 80s. As a lifelong photographer, some of his winning landscape photographs have graced the hallways of North Shore Hospital.

The Community Church of Little Neck played a large part in his life, and he threw himself into leadership positions as trustee, elder, camera club president and kitchen cook.

Tallarico is survived by his daughter Laura, brother Victor and nephew Steve Tyler Tallarico, of Aerosmith fame.

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