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Nicolae Ion Velicu, 83, Of Ridgewood

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Nicolae Ion Velicu, a resident of Ridgewood, died Wednesday, April 13. He was 83.

He was born May 1,1932, in Romania. In his native country, at a young age, he become a renowned skydiver and aviator. Upon completing 2000 jumps, he earned the sport of skydiving’s most prestigious award. In 1962, he participated in the Sixth World Championship of Parachuting in Orange, Mass., representing Romania.

After falling in love with the place and making lifelong friends, he decided to defect to the United States, where he started a new life. For more than 30 years, he worked as an elevator technician for Martin Elevators in New York City.

He is survived by his son Michael and his grandson Daniel in the United States; and his sister Maria and his brother Florian, both in Romania.

Visitation will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday with a prayer service at 3:30 p.m. at the C.C. Van Emburgh Funeral Home, Ridgewood.

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