Obituaries

Superintendent Joe Rella a his last graduation ceremony, 2019. Photo by Kyle Barr

By Kyle Barr and Monica Gleberman

Dr. Joe Rella, the beloved former Comsewogue superintendent who spent just over 25 years in the district, passed away Feb. 21, with Moloney Funeral Homes and the district confirming his death late Friday night. He was 69.

Community members flocked to social media to share their thoughts and memories about their superintendent affectionately known around the district as just “Rella.”

Comsewogue Superintendent Joe Rella with students who participated in Joe’s Day of Service. Photo from CSD

“So much of what I learned about community was through his unceasing example of what it meant to serve the place you call home,” said Kevin LaCherra, who graduated in 2009. “To bring people in, to find out what they need, to fight like hell to get it and then to pass the torch.”

Rella entered the district as a part-time music teacher, making only $28,000 in salary. He would move on to become a full-time music teacher, then the high school principal and finally, superintendent of schools, which was his final position, held for nine years.

In an interview with TBR News Media before his retirement and final graduation ceremony in 2019, Rella had likened the act of running a school district to music, all based in a learning process for both the students and for him.

“Because one thing you learn, there is no such thing as a mistake, it’s a springboard to your next part of the piece,” he said.

The district planned to decorate school buildings with blue-and-gold ribbons come Monday and make counselors available for students who may need it, current Superintendent Jennifer Quinn said Saturday. The district was closed Wednesday, Feb. 26 to allow teachers and students to attend his funeral.

Quinn had worked with Rella for 13 years. In a phone interview Saturday, the current superintendent had nothing but great things to say about her predecessor and mentor. If anything, she said Rella “did not want people to remember him sadly. He wanted them to smile and laugh. He just loved everybody.” 

Rella’s wife, Jackie, passed in 2016 following a struggle with breast cancer. The superintendent himself had been diagnosed with stage 4 bile duct cancer in 2017. Despite his sickness, he would stay on in the top position for another two years. 

Comsewogue Superintendent Joe Rella congratulates a member of the class of 2016 during graduation June 23, 2016. File photo by Bob Savage

It was that dedication, even in the face of sickness and loss, that built up so much trust between him and the community over the years. Quinn said he was humble, always the one to take the blame if plans didn’t work out, but he was always ready to heap praise on others.

“He made everyone important,” she said. “He never shied away from a tough problem and tried to make everything better — he always did.”

Others in the district said Rella’s example pushed them to do more and to do better. Andrew Harris, a special education teacher in the high school, created Joe’s Day of Service in 2018. Named after the then-superintendent, the program asked students to do volunteer work around the school and the greater community. Students have traveled all the way to the Calverton Cemetery in both 2018 and 2019 to clean graves and plant flags.

Harris said there are hundreds of examples of Rella’s kindness, such as driving over an hour to take care of a teacher’s mother who was suffering from cancer.

“In many ways, just like they call the middle of our country the ‘flyover states,’ Port Jefferson Station used to be like a ‘drive-through town’ — people were on their way to another town as the destination,” Harris said. “That all changed with Dr. Rella’s leadership. No matter where you went, and especially as a teacher, when you say you are from Comsewogue and Port Jefferson Station, people know where you came from and the legacy. It makes us all proud to say it.”

The school board accepted Rella retirement in November 2018. He had said in previous interviews his diagnosis did not factor into his decision to retire, and it had been his and his wife’s intent to make that year his last.

“Joe and Jackie were the face of Comsewogue for many years,” said John Swenning, school board president. “Their dedication and support to our administrators, teacher, staff, parents and most importantly our students is nothing short of legendary. Dr. Rella is the Italian grandfather that every kid deserves to have. He will be missed dearly.”

School board trustee Rob DeStefano had known Rella since his sophomore year in Comsewogue high, when the to-be super had joined the district as the new music teacher. DeStefano would be elected to the board coinciding with Rella’s appointment as head of schools. One memory that cemented the famed superintendent in his mind, according to a previous column he wrote for TBR after Rella’s announced retirement, was during a jazz band concert he and his wife got up on stage and started to dance the Charleston.

Rella speaks out against standardized testing in 2015. File photo

Despite the loss, the Rella name lives on in the district, particularly in the high school courtyard, full of sunflowers, named Jackie’s Garden after his late wife. As the superintendent participated in his final high school graduation ceremony last year on June 26, students rolled out a new plaque, naming the high school auditorium the Dr. Joseph V. Rella Performing Arts Center.

His funeral, held Wednesday, Feb. 26, at St. Gerard Majella R.C. Church in Port Jefferson Station, drew huge crowds of family as well as school officials and community members.

Those same Community members and school officials gathered outside the high school Wednesday morning before the funeral. At just after 10 a.m., a hearse bearing Rella and a procession drove around the circle outside the high school, his final visit to the institution residents say he cared so deeply about. Members of both the Port Jefferson and Terryville fire departments hung a giant flag above the ground for the hearse to drive under. Residents and students held blue and yellow signs, all thanking the superintendent for his life of work and service. 

Quinn said they will be working out the details for a larger memorial sometime in the near future.

“He embodied the Comsewogue culture — pushed it and all of us forward,” said 2019 graduate Josh Fiorentino. “To say I know how he wanted to be remembered would be a lie. However, I and many others will remember him as a Warrior. The truest of them all.”

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Linda Gould Dwyer

Linda Gould Dwyer, of East Setauket, died Jan. 1. She was 71.

She was born Jan. 27, 1948, in Port Jefferson and was the daughter of Evelyn and James Gould.

Dwyer was an administrator for Ann Gordon speech pathology in Stony Brook, and in her free time she enjoyed drawing and singing. She was also considered a spiritual woman.

Left to cherish her memory are her son, Thomas; sisters, Joanne and Cari; along with other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Kerry, and her parents.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home, Jan. 7 with the Rev. Barbara Rispoli officiating. Interment followed in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Stony Brook.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Contributions made to the North Shore Animal League in memory of her would be appreciated.

James Autino

James Autino, of Hauppauge, died Jan. 19. He was 63.

He was born Dec. 9, 1956, in Brooklyn, and was the son of Gloria and Vincent Autino.

James was an office administrator for IBM, and in his free time he loved carpentry, guitars, baseball and spending time with his family.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Patricia; along with Jim’s children and grandchildren: Christine Varvaro (Jason) and grandson Liam; Diana; Jimmy (Megan), granddaughters Andi and Natalie; Dan (Courtney) and grandsons Thomas, Ryan and Danny; Jim’s stepchildren: Brian, Trisha (Mike) (Mikie and Dominic); Kevin (Danielle) (daughter Kaydence); along with many other family and friends.

Services were held at Infant Jesus R.C. Church in Port Jefferson Jan. 23. Committal services were held in private.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Lenore Prizzi

Lenore Prizzi, of Setauket, died Jan. 4. She was 83.

She was born June 15, 1936, in Setauket, and was the daughter of Anna and Luciano Ardizzone.

Lenore was a homemaker.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband, Gasper; daughter, Deborah; son, Jack (Judy); grandchildren, Jackie (Nicholas), Leanne (Frederick) and Louis; along with many other family and friends.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home Jan. 9. Interment followed in the Calverton National Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Contributions made to the St. Jude’s Children Hospital in memory of her would be appreciated.

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Anson Seaman

Anson B. Seaman, of East Setauket, died Dec. 19. He was 77.

He was born Nov. 23, 1942, in Mineola, and was the son of Euphemia and Anson Seaman.

Anson “Bruce” was a retired sales manager for Reserve Supply Lumber Company. He was also a member of St. George’s Golf Club.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Lana; daughters Melissa and Dorothy; son, Ronald; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sister, Lorna; brother, Kevin; along with many other family and friends.

Services were held at St. James R.C. Church Dec. 27. Committal services followed at the St. James Churchyard Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Ilse Bayer

Ilse Bayer, of Kings Park, died Dec. 16. She was 100.

She was born May 3, 1919, in Germany, the daughter of Helen and Max Stein.

Ilse was a retired industrial engineer and she enjoyed gardening and spending time with family.

She is survived by her sons, Juergen (Carol) and Dirk (Juanite); five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, along with many other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by husband, Walter, and son, Lutz.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home, Dec. 21. Interment was at the Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Ruth Levy

Ruth Shelby Levy (Borak), of Stony Brook, passed away Dec. 12. She was 82. 

She was the beloved wife of the late Earl S. Levy and daughter of the late Mollie (Rosenblum) and Henry Borak. 

In addition, she was the loving mother of Jennie Ossentjuk (Eric), Melissa Knott (Rich) and Adam Levy (Yelena); the cherished grandmother of Jessica, Brian, Erinn, Benjamin, Max, Allie, Elana and Alexa; and great-grandmother of Valerie.    

The family gathered at Bryant Funeral Home Dec. 16 with a religious service at 10:30 a.m. with Rabbi Ronnie Kehati officiating. Interment followed at Calverton National Cemetery.   

Donations to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration at https://www.theaftd.org/ in her memory would be appreciated.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

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Joan Boyd

Joan H. Boyd, of Wilmington, North Carolina, died Jan. 22 at Liberty Commons Nursing Center. She was 90.

She was born in West Haven, Connecticut, on March 15, 1929, and was the daughter of the late Walter Charles Hoffmann and Janet Blenner Hoffmann.

She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. She was a volunteer with The Literacy Council, The Red Cross and at First Presbyterian. Boyd loved to cook, having been the author of four cookbooks, knitting hats for preemies, sailing, reading and swimming. She loved volunteering at The New Hanover County Library. 

She is survived by her husband, James Boyd of Wilmington, North Carolina; three children, daughter, Janice (Peter Purcell) of Milford, Connecticut, son, James (Denise) of Port Jefferson and daughter, Jocelyn (David Pinson) of Wilmington, North Carolina; nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; and one brother, Charles Hoffmann of Thomasville, North Carolina.

A memorial service was held Jan. 26 at First Presbyterian Church
in Wilmington. 

Memorials may be made to The American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA
50037-0839.

Condolences may be shared at www.andrewsmortuary.com.

Joan Schiemel

Joan Marie Schiemel, of Stony Brook, died Nov. 13. She was 83.

Schiemel was born June 19, 1936, the daughter of Florence and Frank Schiemel. She was a local resident for the past 20 years, and formerly of Huntington Station.  

She was a member of the Air Force Association and a member of the Choir at the Setauket Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed reading, math and automobiles, especially her Corvette. She worked as an aerospace engineer and mathematician at Fairchild Republic and later at Northrop Grumman. She was a member of the team that designed the A-10 Aircraft. She graduated from Concordia College and Queens College and after she received a master’s degree from C.W. Post.   

She is survived by her brother Ray; nieces Robin and Julia; and nephews Andrew and Robert.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Robert.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home on Nov. 20. Interment was at the Northport Rural Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Contributions made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in her memory would be appreciated.

Richard A. DeBree

Richard A. DeBree, 73, a longtime Stony Brook resident, died unexpectedly Dec. 9.

Rich was born and raised in New Jersey. He earned his degree in business administration from Monmouth University. He began his career with Humble, Esq., was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. Upon completion of his service, he rejoined the then Exxon Corporation where he would work in various sales, marketing and management roles for the next 38 years.

Rich had been a Little League coach and was a member of the Mill Pond Fishing Club and enjoyed fishing, golfing, traveling and gardening. During the last few years, he planted large sunflowers each spring for all to enjoy as they walked or passed by into Stony Brook Village. He advocated community service as a volunteer at his church food pantry each week and assisted with plantings at his church, historic gardens of The Ward Melville Heritage Organization and Heritage Park in Mount Sinai.

He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; brother, Paul; sons Mike (Angie) and Justin (Brittany); stepdaughter, Kathleen (Scott); and five grandchildren Tristan, Sebastian, Legend, Jack and Kate. 

Rose M. Boccia

Rose M. Boccia, of Northport, died Jan. 2.

Beloved wife of the late Fred, she was also the loving mother of Fred (Elaine), Anthony (Lisa) and Joseph (Kristine); cherished grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of six.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Nolan Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Philip Neri R.C. Church and interment followed at St. Philip Neri Cemetery in East Northport. 

Donations to the VNS Hospice of Suffolk, 505 Main St., Northport, NY 11768 in her memory, would be appreciated.

William J. Cicio

William J. Cicio, of Northport and formerly of  Setauket, died Jan. 23 at 89 years of age. 

He was the loving husband of the late Helen,  beloved father of Laura (Kevin) Cicio-Healion and William (Cristina) Cicio. He was also the cherished grandfather of Jessica (Chris) DiNapoli, Cammi Healion, James Healion, the late William Cicio, Alyssa Cicio and Ryan Cicio; and dear great-grandfather of Aiden, Landon and Haileigh.

Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home, Northport, with full U.S. Marine Corps military honors. Cremation was private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in William’s memory may be made to VNS Hospice of Suffolk, 505 Main St., Northport, NY 11768.

Kenneth J. Naughton

Kenneth J. Naughton, of Smithtown and formerly of Northport, died suddenly Dec. 30, at 60 years of age.

Ken was a graduate of Northport High School, class of 1977, and Georgia Southern, class of 1986. He was an avid baseball player and fan and a true outdoorsman.

He was the beloved husband of In-Sun (Mina) and loving father of James. He was also the dear son of the late James and the late Grace Naughton; beloved brother of Kathleen (Robert) Donovan and Leanne (Jeffrey) Cole; and caring uncle of Zachary, Christopher and Jack. 

A graveside service was held Jan. 7 at Trinity Cemetery, Rainbow Lane, Amityville.

Paul Greenberg. Photo from Miller Place Fire District

One of the Miller Place Fire Department’s longest serving captains, Paul Greenberg, died Jan. 22. He was 78.

Greenberg was born July 4, 1941 in Manhattan to the late Sidney and Ida Greenberg. 

Paul Greenberg. Photo from Miller Place Fire District

Greenberg has been captain for 10 years, according to Commissioner Larry Fischer, and has been with Miller Place fire for around three decades. In addition to his service with the department, he also had a 37 year career with the Civil Service Department of Suffolk County, according to his obituary from O.B. Davis Funeral Home. In his free time, it was said he enjoyed building model boats.

Miller Place Fire Chief Rick Batchelder said he had known Greenberg since 2004, saying that he “has always been involved in department functions.” 

“He was always a great guy, and he always approached me with questions that needed answers,” the chief said.

He had especially been involved with the Miller Place Fire Police. Lieutenant Tom Van De Kieft served with him for several decades in the fire police section, adding that Greenberg was active as one of the ambulance drivers.

“He was good with all the members,” Van De Keift said. “He was very active as a leader — well liked.”

He was the husband of Tasha Greenberg (née Hewett), who is the secretary for the fire department; the father of Glenn (Anna) Greenberg and the late Diana Hewett-Ridgewell; the adoring grandfather of Michael Greenberg and his fiancée Tiana Rooney and Brian Greenberg; the brother of Marty (Jo Ann) Greenberg; the uncle of Mark Greenberg and great uncle of Tyler and Caleb Greenberg; and brother-in-law of Charles Hewett and his partner Charles Olbricht.

A memorial visitation for Greenberg will be held Sunday, Jan. 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at O.B. Davis Funeral Homes, 1001 Route 25A, Miller Place, NY 11764.

 

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Josephine Geronimo Johannes, formerly of Port Jefferson, passed away Jan. 11 surrounded by family, and friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was 94.

Johannes was born Aug. 7, 1925 and grew up in Jamaica, Queens in the loving, extended-family home of her parents, Madeline and Raphael Geronimo, along with her four sisters, one brother and their families.

She graduated from John Adams High School in Queens. After attending Secretarial School, she worked in Manhattan until her marriage to Ronald P. Johannes in 1948. Jo and Ron raised five children while living in Levittown, Port Jefferson and later Naples, FL.

Jo was an active member of the St. Charles Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers in Port Jefferson and a Librarian’s Assistant at Earl L Vandermuellen High School. Johannes retired from The Collier County Public Library in Florida, and she quickly began volunteering again at consignment shops and St. Williams Church.

She enjoyed beaching, dancing, playing tennis, bowling, tea parties, reading, Beanie Baby collecting, traveling, and playing cards. Some of her all-time favorite groups she was a part of were The Gourmet Dinner Group, the Platinum Girls Dance group, and Martini Card Club.

Johannes is survived by her five children, Diane (Tim), Lauren Johannes-Mihalek, Sandra Ellis (Emory), Debra Novak (Tom) and Glenn Johannes (Cindy). In addition, Grandma Jo adored her eleven grandchildren and their spouses, Tim, Emory, Ben, Rebecca, Ryan, Aleah, Keith, Michaela, Alex, John, Michael, Nolan, Dylan, Tyler, Eryn.

Family and friends are welcome at Hodges Funeral Home at Naples Memorial Gardens, 525 111th Ave N, Naples, FL on Sunday, Jan. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 am on Monday, Jan. 27 at St. Williams Catholic Church, 601 Seagate Dr, Naples. She will be laid to rest at Naples Memorial Gardens immediately following.

Memorial donations may be made to Conservancy of Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org or Friends of the Library of Collier County Inc, www.collier-friends.org

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Robert Lee Berran

Robert Lee Berran, formerly of Setauket, died Jan. 15. He was 96.

 Bob was born in Mount Vernon, New York, Dec. 24, 1923, and was raised in Scarsdale. Between the ages of 19 and 22, he served as a medic during World War II under General Patton’s Third Army in Europe.

After the war he studied at the Art Students League in New York City from 1947 to 1950. After leaving the Art Students League, he painted movie posters for 20th Century Fox. Four years later he joined the Illustrators Group where artists were predominately from the Haddon Sundbloom School of Painting. His work at the Illustrators Group was for prestigious clients such as Ford and Coca-Cola.

Subsequently Bob illustrated for the Seventh Day Adventists for their series of children’s books “My Bible Friends,” which are still popular today. In 1969 Bob began to paint paperback book covers mostly for Avon, Ballantine, Harlequin and Fawcett among others. He then joined Mendola Ltd, an artist’s representative group, for 17 years, and Hankins-Tegenborg for another 11 years. Then computerized art arrived and put many talented artists out of work. Bob was fortunate, he was introduced to the art director of a publishing company, Quadriga Art. He worked for them for almost 25 years painting religious artwork, to which he was happy to return as it was his first love as an artist. He also enjoyed painting portraits of adults, children and pets. His career spanned over 70 years.

Bob married Suzanne Marie Culbertson in 1952. They have three children, Kathryn (Edward Gutleber), Kristine (Gordon Hamilton) and Scott along with three grandchildren Kathryn, Eddie and Irene Gutleber. Bob and Suzanne lived in Stony Brook for 43 years before moving to Vero Beach, Florida, in 2004. Bob was a member of the Society of Illustrators until his death.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Jan. 24 at First Presbyterian Church, Vero Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations to American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospitals for Children would be appreciated. An online guest book is available at www.lowtherfuneralhome.com.

Roscoe Loper Jr.

Roscoe Loper Jr., a lifelong resident of Port Jefferson, died Oct. 10. He was 99.

He was born Sept. 13, 1920, in Port Jefferson and was the son of Anna and Roscoe Loper Sr.

Loper was an Army veteran of World War II and a retired bay constable for the Town of Brookhaven. He also enjoyed camping and boating. 

Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Diane and Sharon; son, Roscoe Loper III; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many other family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Alvaretta; parents, Roscoe and Anna; brother, Wesley; and grandson, Roscoe IV.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home. Loper was afforded full military honors at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. Visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Francis ‘Duke’ J. Lupardo

Francis “Duke” J. Lupardo, 86, a longtime community resident, died Oct. 8.

He was born Oct. 1, 1933, in Brooklyn and was the son of Amelia and John Lupardo.

“Duke” was a retired electrical engineer for the New York Telephone Company, a member of the Democratic committee, enjoyed reading, dancing, golf and the stock market. He was a sociable, humorous and generous man who loved a good martini.

He was a Navy veteran of the Korean War.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughters Carrie Gorecki and Patty (William) Seltzer; two grandchildren; one great-grandchild; his sister Maria; along with other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rose, son John, sister Ann and brothers Neil and John.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home Oct. 12 along with full military honors.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. Visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or the American Kidney Foundation in his memory.

Michael J. Pacilio Sr.

Michael J. Pacilio Sr., 81, a longtime community resident, died Dec. 2.

He was born Oct. 25, 1938, in Brooklyn, the son of Marie and John Pacilio.

Michael was a retired teacher for Northport High School, and he was an artist that enjoyed painting and sculpting. He was also an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughter Michele; son Michael; two grandchildren; along with other family and friends.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home Dec. 6. He was afforded full military honors at Calverton National Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. Visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Lillian Meehan

Lillian M. Meehan, of Port Jefferson, died Nov. 4. She was 90.

She was born Dec. 16, 1928, in Huntington, the daughter of Jane and William Fisher.

Lillian was a retired secretary for Shell Oil. In her free time, she enjoyed reading, gardening and spending time with family.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Mary Jane and Barbara; sons, Thomas, Peter and Brian; 12 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sisters, Jane and Patricia; and many other family members and friends.

Services were held at Infant Jesus R.C. Church. Interment was at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Huntington.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guestbook.

Angelina Landi

Angelina Landi, of Port Jefferson Station, died Oct. 6. She was 94.

She was born October 12, 1924, in Manhattan and was the daughter of Carmela and Ignazio DeLuca.

Landi was a retired teacher for the Three Village School District and a member of the Knights of Columbus and senior club at St. Gerard R.C. Majella Church. She enjoyed traveling in her off time.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Rachel (Michael) Case and Veronica (Paul) Wingler; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two sisters, Josephine and Philipina; and many other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Felix, and sister, Jean.

Services were held at St. Gerard R.C. Majella Church in Terryville. Interment was at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guestbook.

Contributions made to the St. Gerard R.C. Majella Church in her memory would be appreciated.

Hanne Woods

Hanne Edith Woods, of Miller Place, died Nov. 7. She was 90.

She was born Dec. 24, 1928, in Setauket and was the daughter of Elysa and Alf Hoffmoen.

Hanne was a retired secretary for the Three Village school district and a member of the Sons of Norway. In her off time, she enjoyed golf, bridge, bowling, singing and spending time with family.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Candace; two grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank; daughter, Patricia; sister, Ruth; and brother, Robert.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home Nov. 11. Interment was at the Washington Memorial Park cemetery in Mount Sinai.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guestbook.

Dain Becker 

Dain Becker, “Chief” of Northport, died on Dec. 20 at 65 years of age. Beloved husband of Mina (née Parezo); loving father of Nicholas and Derek Becker; dear brother of Alan and Karan Becker; fond brother-in-law of Dee Lynch, Marlene Weldon and Paul Parezo. Also loved by his nieces and nephews. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home, Northport, Dec. 23. Funeral Mass was celebrated Dec. 24 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, East Northport. Private cremation followed.

 

Florence R. Christie 

Florence R. Christie of Greenlawn died on Dec. 22 at 93 years of age. Beloved wife of the late William; loving mother of William Christie Jr. (Patty), Linda Wilson (Brian), Barbara McLean (Christopher), Patty Christie and Carolyn Gulotta (Ronald); cherished grandmother of Katie McGinn (Casey), William Christie III, Patrick Christie, Christie Bonasera (John), Brian Wilson (Bridget), Jaime Pochtrager (Daniel), Megan Sorvino (Vic), Andrew Gulotta, Christian Gulotta, Caileigh Gulotta and Caroline Gulotta; adored great-grandmother of Liam, Zach, Jack, Charlie and Finn. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home, Northport, Dec. 26. Funeral Mass was celebrated Dec. 27 at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Greenlawn. Private cremation followed. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Center of Hope Foundation, Attention: Accounting Office, 51 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776. (Please make checks payable to: Center of Hope Foundation) or made electronically at www.maryhaven.chsli.org/giving.

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Ellen Brady

Ellen Brady, a long-time member of the Suffolk County Republican Committee and wife of Smithtown Republican Party Vice-Chairman Bernard “Bernie” Brady, died Jan. 15 at the age of 78.

She was the loving mother of Michael (Terri) Brady, Denise (Joseph) Riccio and Patrick (Tara) Brady; the cherished grandmother of Michael, Patrick, Jack, Molly, Liam and Erin; and the adored sister of Muriel (Carl) Scarantino and the late Gerard McLeer.

Visitation was held at Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown on Sunday, Jan. 19 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Funeral mass will be celebrated Monday, Jan. 20 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, 95 Old Nichols Road in Nesconset. Burial to follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery Mount Pleasant Road in Smithtown.

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Jean Sparozic passed Jan. 12.

Jean Sparozic passed Jan. 12 in West Newbury, MA. He was 93, and had residences in Huntington, Port Washington and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Sparozic was the beloved husband of the late Joyce Dendievel Sparozic; the loving father of Jill Morrison, Suzy Sparozic, and Wendy Dirkes; the adored grandfather of Jonathan and Ryan; and the dear brother of Marie Gunderson.

Jean Sparozic with his late wife Joyce Dendievel Sparozic.

Reposing at Austin F. Knowles, Inc. Funeral Home, located at 128 Main St. Port Washington Friday, Jan. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. Graveside service is Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. at Nassau Knolls Cemetery.

For over 40 years, Sparozic was owner of Amoureuse Couture, a 7th Avenue Evening Gown Mfg. Amoureuse Couture in NYC, making glamorous custom formal gowns for such notables as Mamie Eisenhower, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Opera singer, Beverly Sills, Kathryn Harken (the wife of Zero Mostel), Rudy Giuliani’s second wife, Donna Hanover for President George H.W. Bush’s inauguration, a Saudi Prince’s daughter, Rose Mary Clooney, amongst celebrity clients, with a Fashion Show at Studio 54 in its heyday. He also sold gowns to such stores as Saks, Hirshleifer’s on Miracle Mile, and many more around the country. Before opening his own company, he worked with Bill Blass and Oleg Cassini amongst others notable fashion industry giants.

His life began Sept. 3, 1926 in Masny, France. As a child he was educated at a convent with his sister and his mother, a devout Catholic had high hopes he would enter the seminary. Sparozic had other ideas and wanted to become a merchant sea captain and see the world. At 16, that dream became a reality when he joined the French Merchant Marines during World War II, making close to 40 trips to the U.S. and other ports of call. Many times, the ships carried American soldiers and supplies back to war torn France and other sea ports. The first time, each time after he came to New York Harbor, he would never forget the sight of seeing the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom.

While in New York City, during free time, he would visit the USO French Canteen, where he met his future bride, Joyce Dendievel, a beautiful, young British and French fashion designer. Joyce was fluent in French and was a volunteer at the canteen for the war effort. Jean had tickets to Radio City Christmas Show and the romance bloomed. Joyce was smitten with Jean’s French accent and Johnny Depp good looks. After several trips back and forth to France, at 19 years old, Jean decided he wanted to make a life with Joyce in the U.S., and they were married. Not knowing English, it was rough at first finding work. After moving to Port Washington to live with Joyce and her family, Jean worked for a time at Shield’s Plumbing. The couple moved to New York City and he would find himself working at the Waldorf Astoria in the kitchen, until he visited Joyce’s company, and she helped him find work in the garment district. He became fascinated with the pattern makers and started taking night courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he became proficient in pattern making and tops in his field. At this point, in 1958, Joyce had become a mother to the three girls, and his wife had saved enough to buy a home. In 1966, he started Amoureuse Couture, and the rest is history. He continued taking courses of all sorts well into his 50s. Jean didn’t retire until in his 80s, acting as a consultant and head pattern maker for other firms in New York City’s Garment Center, including Land’s End, and other top brands.

Around this time, Jean also was able to help bring his mother, step-father, sister and her children from Algiers which was war torn from French Algerian War at the time, to live in Port Washington, as well.

Sparozic was an avid sailor and kept his boat moored at the Port Washington Town Dock, taking his family out sailing and fishing. The couple had spent many summer’s in Montauk camping and fishing, as well. Jean’s other love was restoring old Mercedes Benz in his spare time, well into his 80s, and traveling. He will be sorely missed.

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When, last autumn in Rhinebeck, New York, Lorraine Barbra Lindner exited this earth, little did she know what a stir she would cause locally in her beloved home of some 40 years.

Lorraine Barbra Lindner

She was 92. She was my mother, and all her life she served the poor.

She taught me that and she taught me how. She also instructed me about the niceties of giving gifts, her favorite activity. For this, she always kept a calendar, besmirched with the daily jottings of people for whom she cared — always sending them presents for their every occasion. She did this faithfully and methodically. In fact, never did a day pass that she did not give someone something.

And, guess what she left behind for me? Her only silver crucifix ring! Now I display it handsomely upon that left-hand pinky finger where she also used to wear it. In truth, it is my only connection to her, this little silver memento, and I shall always cherish it.

Moreover, I still mourn her and her cause, which was to give gifts to what seemed to be all the living world.

Despite her practice of generosity, she lived in a world of her own — always thinking about the little guy, while indulging her fantasy of Christian hope and charity to all. She did this one blessed person at a time, as I also want to say and do. For mom was a great neighbor to have; everyone who visited her home in Port Jefferson village was treated with utmost courtesy and welcome. 

But all of this is ended now that she has greeted eternity. Therefore, as her son, I now praise this 5 foot 2, blue-eyed Irishwoman and solemnly swear it has been a distinct privilege to have shared your friendship and expert care. 

For caring would be the best thing you would do. So, I reached out at your Infant Jesus funeral Mass of Christian burial, touching your casket with both my hands. Now I bid you a fond goodbye — even as you, gift giver, say so long to friends and family, knowing as we all do how very true it is that — just as you taught us all during your long life. And we shall all meet you again upon our own lives’ end. 

But for now, it will have to be goodbye, gift giver, my friend. See you in
heaven, Mom. 

George Lindner is a Port Jefferson Station resident.