BY MATTHEW LYSIAK from the Daily News
A former Coney Island strongman killed by a minivan at the age of 104 was laid to rest Saturday by friends and family who spared no superlative in describing his life. "Joe Rollino wasn't just a man, he was an irreplaceable fixture of South Brooklyn for over a century," friend Gino Longo, 42, said at St. Bernadette Church in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. "They just don't make men like Joe Rollino anymore. God broke the mold." Rollino - war veteran, boxer, weightlifter and all-around Brooklyn legend - was crossing Bay Ridge Parkway to buy a newspaper last week when he was struck and killed by a Ford Windstar van. "Father time didn't stand a chance against Joe Rollino. It took all the speed and might of a minivan, and I'm shocked that that was even able to take him down," said Charlie Laird, 65, a retired bus operator from Bensonhurst. "Joe Rollino made Jack LaLanne look feeble." Rollino billed himself the Strongest Man in the World and boasted that he had lifted 450 pounds with his teeth. "At the age of 7, Joe Rollino could lift 250 pounds of dead weight," said Pete Spanakos, a boxing journalist who knew him for more than 60 years. He served in the Pacific during World War II and proudly wore a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. "Joe Rollino braved enemy fire to carry his injured brothers out of harm's way," Spanakos said. "He carried them back and forth, two men on each arm." And then there was the day Rollino confronted Adolf Hitler. "Joe Rollino knew six languages. When he went to the Olympics in Berlin as an adviser, he cursed out Hitler in German," said Spanakos. "He almost got arrested." Pals said his strength barely waned as the decades went by. "I saw the man break a quarter in half with his bare hands - and that was on his 103rd birthday," said Bob Liquari, 71, of Bensonhurst. "For years, I wouldn't believe his age. Joe Rollino took no meds. He never wore a hearing aid. He died in his prime," said Joe Abbenda, 70, a friend and former Mr. America 1962.