And I must accomplish that with only words.
I experienced some of those difficulties when I began to research this piece on Steve Aiello. Aiello passed away suddenly last month. He was only 49.
I never met Steve Aiello, but I now realize that I might be better off if I had.
Steve’s wife, Joyce, was kind enough to write up highlights of her husband’s life. As I poured over her words, the person who Steve Aiello had become came jumping off the pages.
I was moved by the obvious appreciation, pride, and admiration that Joyce conveyed in her stories about her husband. Her love for Steve resonated throughout her writing.
I also had the opportunity to talk to a number of people who knew and loved Steve Aiello. Without fail, they all described him as a kind and caring person who was always willing to help others.
They told me stories and relayed antidotes about a man who loved his life and his family, and who performed a multitude of selfless acts.
They told me about an individual who volunteered to coach young athletes — and served on the board of directors — in the Toluca Baseball and East Valley Baseball leagues. They let me know about his association with the Bellarmine-Jefferson High booster club and the St. Charles Borrome parish.
His son, Anthony, is a junior at Bell-Jeff and plays football and baseball.
I was also told about Aiello’s love for baseball, something that he found joy in.
There probably wouldn’t be enough space in this Sports section to list all of Steve Aiello’s charitable acts.
“Steve would even volunteer at North Hollywood High, to work in their snack stand,” longtime friend Frank Miceli said. “You have to understand something; Steve didn’t have any kids at North Hollywood. He really didn’t have any association with the school. He just found out they needed help and he volunteered.
“That’s the kind of person Steve was.”