Donald Petrillo, age 92, of Wyckoff, formally of Waldwick, NJ died unexpectedly on Friday, October 1, 2021. Donald was born on April 9, 1929 in Jersey City, NJ. He graduated Emerson High School in Union City, NJ. Don started off a young man with a promising singing career. He sang and danced in a number of hotels in the Catskills. He had a dream of making it in show biz, but, as fate would have it, he lost his singing voice and had to give up singing. Donald always had an eye for design and fashion. In the early 50’s, he was a Designer of window and interior displays for a variety of New York and New Jersey stores and shops. In the early 60’s, Don worked at Frank Page Theatrical Costume Company in New York, as an Associate Designer and Costume Historian. He worked for Patricia Murphy Restaurant Chain in New York as a Resident Designer for seasonal displays for restaurants, gift shops and gardens. At Barrett Hill Furniture Corporation, he was President, Manager and Designer of the first showroom representing Hickory and Kay Lyn Furniture. He created special projects duplicating original designs in sports clothes. Don reproduced original Roosevelt family garments for the Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. After that Donald went into the fashion world. He was asked to accept a position at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) at the Edward C. Blum Design Laboratory. At F.I.T. he was the curator of the largest research costume collection in the world. Organized, set up and managed by Don, the laboratory catered to all the top designers and fashion students. So popular was his fashion laboratory lectures by Don had to be booked a year in advance. Students not only from F.I.T. but from all the US Colleges, as well as, England, Spain, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands came to hear Don lecture. Don retired from F.I.T. in 1991 and most days he would have been found at the Bergen County Senior Center volunteering his talents, tap dancing and just being a wonderful friend to all who will miss him immensely. Don was also actively involved with Silver Steppers and Syncopated Seniors Tap both in Midland Park, NJ. When not dancing, Don could be found offering his talents as a member and volunteer at the Midland Park Senior Center and the Ho Ho Kus Seniors. Donald was a longtime parishioner of Church of the Nativity in Midland Park, NJ. Although Donald is not survived by immediate family members, his memory will live on through his countless friends and associates he met throughout his lifetime and who’s hearts have been touched by Don’s zest for life. Friends of Donald’s may pay their respects on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 from 2 - 4 pm at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Ave., Wyckoff, NJ. A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, October 7, 2021, at 10:00 am at Church of the Nativity, 315 Prospect Street, Midland Park, NJ with the burial following at Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah, NJ. As an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, donations in Donald’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023.
American Heart Association
P.O. Box 840692, Dallas TX 75284
American Diabetes Association
PO Box 15829, Arlington VA 22215