Leo Battista, a Grumman Aeorspace retiree and longtime Port Washington resident, died on Monday, Nov. 28, in Sunrise, Florida. He was 85 years old, and passed away of complications related to kidney failure.
Battista lived in Port Washington for more than 40 years. A familiar face for decades at Port Washington’s Manorhaven Park and Bar Beach Park, where he played competitive paddleball well into his 70s, Battista is survived by his wife of 59 years, Clara; their eight children and seven grandchildren, who knew him as "Poppy"; as well three-dozen nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Raffael and Nunziata Battista; his brothers Louie, Raffael, Pasquale, Frank, and his sister, Carmella.
A mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Thursday, Dec. 1, at St. Bonaventure Roman Catholic Church in Davie, Florida. Internment followed on that same day at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery in North Lauderdale, Florida. A Memorial Service will be held in Port Washington, NY, at a future date.
Battista, who was born in East Harlem, retired in 1989 from Grumman Aerospace after working for more than four decades at the Bethpage, NY-based firm. Soon thereafter, he became one of the most dedicated volunteers at The St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, serving in numerous roles, including as a Eucharistic minister. Battista was also a member of the Sons of Italy, John Michael Marino Lodge, Port Washington, and a frequent presence at the on Manorhaven Boulevard.
After selling their Port Washington home in 2006, he and his wife resided briefly in Glen Cove, and then spent the winter months in Florida, before moving to Sunrise, Florida in 2010.
Leo Battista’s survivors include daughter Mary Battista of Queens, son Robert Battista (and wife Rosemarie) of Mineola, NY, daughter Jennifer Battista-McDonald (and husband Michael) of Ocala, Florida, daughter Clare Battista of San Luis Obispo, California, son Leo Battista (and wife Kimberly) of Black Rock, Connecticut, son Edward Battista of Agoura Hills, California, daughter Margaret Battista of Copiague, NY, and son Louie Battista (and wife Heather) of Davie, Florida.
The seven grandchildren who survive Battista are Matthew, Jackson, Mollie, Alex, Patrick, Rylee and Nicholas Battista.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Leo Battista’s memory to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, St. Francis Hospital, 100 Port Washington Boulevard, Roslyn, NY, 11576.
Editor's Note: Special thanks to Michael Barry for contributing.