Tree trimmer remembered as beloved family man after being found dead, upside down in Sherman Oaks

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- A 70-year-old tree trimmer who was pronounced dead after being found dangling from a tree in Sherman Oaks on Saturday is being remembered as a beloved father and grandfather.

David Cerigioni raised two children, then watched them raise kids of their own.

"A huge sense of humor," Cerigioni's daughter, Heather Bivona, recalled in an interview with ABC7. "He just walks in a room and your eyes just go to him. And he's got this loud voice and this loud laugh."

Bivona said her dad leaned on humor in tough times, of which there were many. Cerigioni worked as a tree trimmer for more than 50 years.

"We were always concerned, especially with his age and everything, but he just had to work right now," she said. "He couldn't afford not to."

After coworkers found him suspended, unconscious, and 50 feet above ground, upside down on Saturday, Bivona received the phone call that changed everything.

"It was just so shocking because my dad, he was in good health that we know of," Bivona said.
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A 70-year-old tree trimmer has been identified after being found dead, hanging in an upside down position approximately 50 feet above ground in a tree in Sherman Oaks.

The home where Cerigioni was working Saturday is located on Coldwater Canyon.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said there were energized electrical wires in or near the tree, but whether that was a factor has not been determined. The official cause of death remains under investigation.

"I'm sure they'll have a cause determination when all's said and done," said LAFD Battalion Chief Joe Lopez, adding that there was "no physical trauma per se."

In the meantime, Bivona can only wait for the results of the investigation.

"Oh yeah, I want to know," she said. "I can't sleep at night without knowing what happened. It's not going to bring him back but I do want to know what happened."

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help mark the end of David's life with celebration -- for how he lived, during it.
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