Johnathan Charles Crupi, 21, of Great Kills, NY, a sports enthusiast, promising auto body apprentice, and nurturing caretaker of his nieces, nephews, and cousins, died at home. The cause of his death was a heroin overdose, his family said.
Mr. Crupi lived his entire life in Great Kills. He attended DeVry Technical School in Woodbridge, NJ, and worked for his family’s auto body shop, Barry’s Auto Body, in his home community. He was learning to do body work and paint preparation. “He was very good at it,’’ his family said.
Her son had a personality that was impossible to miss, his mother said. “When he walked into a room, the whole room lit up,’’ she said. “When he was younger, we called him ‘the mayor.’ He commanded attention. He had such a smile, you just couldn’t help but smile, too.’’ Mrs. Crupi said her family had fought a long battle with addiction, right alongside her son, and she wants others to know that his death was caused by addiction. “We’ve been battling this for years; it’s been a long, long fight,’’ she said. “Everybody hides from telling the truth, and I don’t think it’s healthy. Addiction is a disease.”