St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

He died doing what he loved

The outdoors-loving firefighter had a new passion for flying.

Published October 24, 2006


TAMPA - To fellow firefighters, Hillsborough Fire Rescue Capt. Nick Tedesco Jr. was a hard worker, serious about his job.

To his mother and family, Tedesco was a caring son and father, a talented man always trying to learn.

"Nicky could do just about anything," his mother, Renna Tedesco, 66, said. "My whole house, a lot of it's been put together by him. He thinks about things, and he does them."

Tedesco and his son, Taylor, 17, died Saturday morning when their ultralight plane crashed in southeast Pasco County.

It was Taylor's first trip in the new plane, Renna Tedesco said.

She said Tedesco, 46, recently started flying the gliders, and he built this one from a kit.

"He loved flying," she said. "When he got his glider's license, he promised he'd take me up."

Tedesco had an adventurous, outdoors-loving personality. He learned to scuba dive. He loved to camp, fish and hunt. He even studied taxidermy to preserve his conquests.

Tedesco grew up in Lutz, back when the area was a rural enclave. He married his high school sweetheart, Maureen, in May 1986, and had two children, Taylor and Stratton, 16.

As more people moved to Lutz, Tedesco felt crowded. So he built a home on Blanton Lake Road outside Dade City.

What happened Saturday is unclear. The Federal Aviation Administration is trying to figure out why two people were flying in a vehicle usually meant for one, said spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

Ultralights are single-person vehicles except when someone is being trained to fly, she said. "We want to see what happened, why it happened," she said.

A vigil and viewing will be held Wednesday, from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Anthony's Padua Church, 32832 Massachusetts Ave., in San Antonio. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Leo Abbey Church.

[Last modified October 24, 2006, 00:30:35]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters