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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Christian Napolitano

Christian Frederick Robinson Napolitano of Shelter Island and Williamsburg, N.Y. died Friday, May 10, 2024, from injuries sustained when hit by a car on Thursday, April 25. He was 31 years old. As an organ donor he has been able to sustain the lives of eight other people.

Christian was born at home on Feb. 26, 1993 in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. to Renee P. Robinson and Joseph J. Napolitano. His older brothers James and Joseph were very happy to welcome him into the family.

He attended The Hayground School in Bridgehampton for middle school, and elementary and high school at Shelter Island School where he graduated in 2011. Christian played basketball for Shelter Island School, lacrosse for Ross School and football for Greenport High School.

He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Albany Roosevelt School of Political Science in 2015. While at Albany he interned for State Senator Steve Katz and worked on the  State legalization of medical marijuana. Later in Washington, D.C. he interned for Congressman Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip.

Christian’s work life began early at the age of 14 in local Shelter Island restaurants. In his professional career, Christian worked as a Cannabis Finance Manager for Upwise Capital located in New York City. He started his career at Harmony Dispensary and worked in cultivation.

Christian’s world view, ethics and values were informed by his family, community and extensive traveling, which began at a young age, reaching four continents.

Christian’s passion for life went from his love of plants and gardening to his ability to shine a light on all those he encountered, which made Christian the amazing individual we all knew and loved, his family said. He was his dad’s right hand man, and he helped to lighten the load for everyone around with his humor and kind nature.

Christian was predeceased by his father Joseph, and is survived by his mother Renee Robinson; brothers, Joseph and James Napolitano (Jeanne Helbig); cousins Lee and Jackie Knoeppel, Reid and Bayley Lesperance, Andrew, William and Julia Smiley, Gillian Robinson, and Ian and Andrea King; aunts and uncles Justine Robinson Lesperance, Marcella Robinson, Barbara Robinson, Elizabeth Robinson, (Chris Knoeppel), Jackie Smiley, (Drew Smiley), Karen King, (Kenny King) and Janis Napolitano; and so many beloved friends.

A Celebration of Life was held on May 17 at the Napolitano Robinson family home on Shelter Island. Funeral Services were held on May 18 at Shell Beach; the reception was at White Oak Farm.

The family wants to thank the community of Shelter Island for their love and concern during this difficult time, adding “The outpouring of support, from people bringing in food, flowers and love, was more comforting than we can express in words. Feeling the love for our Christian was ever present through these acts of kindness.”