Throggs Neck merchant hit by fatal heart attack

One of Throggs Necks’ most beloved residents suffered a heart attack and passed away last week, leaving behind fond memories for those who knew him.

Steve Zeppieri, born on September 29, 1954, lived and breathed his family and his community. Raised in Throggs Neck, Zeppieri attended St. Benedict’s School and was raised above his father’s store, Magic Touch Cleaners. He watched his dad, Eugene Zeppieri, interact with people from the community,

Zeppieri began to work around the store when he was only nine years old; he always wanted to help people from the community. By 1976 he had taken over the business and had made his store a Throggs Neck landmark.

“[Zeppieri] always said, ‘Whatever you need…I'll be here,’” loyal customer Danny Boyle remembered. “You were somebody to him. He cared about each and every one of his customers.”

A true family man, Zeppieri moved out of the Bronx to be closer to his parents and his siblings, Eugene Zeppeiri Jr. and Jennifer Hanlon. Despite the move, his passion for Magic Touch never wavered, and he always made the commute in order to greet his customers, many of whom he considered dear friends, in person.

Zeppieri enjoyed spending time with his family. He raised three children, Steve Jr., Michelle and Nicholas, and later spent his spare time with his nieces, nephews and grandson, Brandon.

“Over the years I’ve become very close to my father,” Nicholas said. He wasn’t just my father. He was also my best friend. He was a great person and well liked by everyone that knew him.”

“I always knew that if I had a problem or just needed advice, he was the one I could go to. He was a loving, caring and understanding man. He took care of all the neighborhood kids. He taught them right from wrong. If someone was hurting he felt his or her pain. Layton Avenue will never be the same. He was the heart of that corner. I would like to thank the people in the neighborhood for supporting my family and me when we needed them the most. My father will never be forgotten.”

Zeppireri was known for wanting to help others and touched the lives of many. He often provided free service to local churches and religious institutions, and always found extra money to donate to local youth sports programs.

Zeppieri passed away on Tuesday, December 29. His wake and funeral service were held in Rockland County on Sunday, January 3 and Monday, January 4.

Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or

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