Leo J. Marino, a 33 year New Windsor resident, entered into rest on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at his home surrounded by his devoted wife and family. Leo was 95 years old.

The fourth of seven children of the late Leo and Mary Marino, he was born on July 18, 1921, in Akron, Ohio. His family moved to Rockland County in 1937. He was educated through the Public School System and graduated from Haverstraw High School where he enjoyed success as a star athlete on the football field and as a tumbler. He graduated from New York University receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, and in 1949 he earned his Masters Degree in Health Education courtesy of the G.I. Bill.
In 1942 at the height of WWII, Leo served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a tail gunner on the B-17 Flying Fortress with the 15th Air Force. He flew 60 missions in the European Theatre of Operations. He was distinguished with the Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, the European Theatre Ribbon, 5 battle stars, the African-Middle East Ribbon, Presidential Citation, and the Distinguished Unit Badge. He was honorably discharged in 1945. He dearly loved his country. He was an active member of the VFW, American Legion, and the Catholic War Veterans.

From 1949 through 1986, Leo worked with the Catholic Youth Organization, Archdiocese of NY, as Executive Director of youth programs and services for elementary and high school students in Orange, Rockland and Sullivan Counties. Throughout those years, he also ran the Haverstraw Day Camp, C.Y.O. Day Camp, and taught classes at Ladycliff Academy in Highland Falls. He impacted the lives of so many young people who became successful athletes, priests, public servants, and educators. His compassion, concern, and guiding hand exemplifying all the virtues of his Catholic faith, made the difference in so many young lives.

The love of his life is his surviving wife of 68 years, the former Anne Prekopa who he wed in 1948 at St. Mary’s Church in Haverstraw, NY. Theirs was the marriage of romance novels: “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told”. During the Big Band Era they owned the dance floor with their enviable Lindy, Walks, and Dips. Together they made a house a home welcoming three children, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Everyone wanted to go to Mama’s House to play with Papa! He captivated each successive generation with his magic tricks, napkin masks, jokes, and yo-yo skills. This avid gardener patiently taught the kids how to plant a tomato or grow a corn stalk so high it made the Cornwall Local! Never has there been a more devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Having Papa as the wind beneath their wings has been the greatest blessing. He was everything: he had the strength to be a Golden Glove Boxer, the gentleness to rescue orphaned birds and bunnies, the courage to defend his country in the tail of a B-17, the patience to raise successful children and grandchildren, and enough love to adore the same beautiful woman for 68 years. Papa Lee: the man, the myth, the legend! Because they knew him, they were changed for good.

Survivors include his devoted wife, Anne; daughter Linda and her husband, Kenneth, of Middletown, NY; son Leo and his wife, Carin, of Vero Beach, Florida; daughter, Andrea Marino Fleming, of New Windsor, NY; grandchildren Tammy Dorozynski (John), Christa Porcaro (Dean), Danna Marino (Michael Mahle), Leo J. Marino IV (Denee), Michael Zitelli (Jacklyn), and Jude Fleming Vaghjiani (Raj); great-grandchildren Isabella Dorozynski, Nicolette Porcaro, Annalee Dorozynski, Jack Porcaro, Nina Mahle, and Treyden Zitelli; his brother Leonard, of Middletown, and many loving nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 on Monday, April 17 at Brooks Funeral Home, 481 Gidney Avenue, Newburgh. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in New Windsor. Burial will follow at the Orange County Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Goshen.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, 800 Stony Brook Court, Newburgh, NY 12550.

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