The families and friends of two Brooklyn men who spent much of their lives working to make this world better and brighter are one step closer to honoring these local heroes — Subhi Widdi and Captain Dennis Morales — for their service, selflessness and dedication.
At its November meeting, Brooklyn Community Board Seven unanimously approved proposals to co-name the block between 56th and 57th Streets on Sixth Avenue as Subhi Widdi Way, and 36th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues after Morales.
Morales, an NYPD Captain who retired in 2010 after 18 years of service on the Emergency Services Unit and in the Bronx, Manhattan, and neighborhoods such as Boro Park and Fort Greene, died in July of 2012 at the age of 50 from pancreatic cancer that he and his family believes was contracted from his months working on the debris pile at “Ground Zero” after September 11.
Morales was a “very funny, very private” man who rarely talked about work with family, but remained jovial and was a fighter to the very end, according to colleagues and his widow, Linda, who he left behind along with his now 18-year-old son Dennis.
For the family of Widdi, naming the street on which his business, Widdi Catering Hall, is still located, is the obvious thing to do for a man who loved his neighbors and community so much that he would often let them use it for events virtually for free. He would also volunteer at the Saint Nicholas Home and donate to churches and other groups, even forgiving debt.
Widdi died in November of 2012 at the age of 80.
“My dad spent most of his life in Sunset Park and would give to anybody in need because nothing gave him joy more than giving,” said one of his sons, Frank, who wrote a biography on his father a few years ago and, along with his brothers Fadee and Wakeem, have spearheaded the effort to have their father recognized and immortalized. “Now he’s gone and we feel that doing this for him, he would enjoy it.”