Leonard Desiderio

Obituary of Leonard J. Desiderio

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DESIDERIO- Leonard J. Desiderio (Mr. D) of Sea Isle City, New Jersey, Nutley, New Jersey, Naples, Florida,- 93 passed away on Monday, January 10, 2022. He passed away in his home in Sea Isle City surrounded by his loving wife and family. Leonard was born June 7, 1928 in Newark, New Jersey, to his parents Anthony and Jennie (Baratta) Desiderio. Leonard married his high school sweetheart, Carmel F (Ferrara) Desiderio, on October 22, 1950 and shared a loving 71 years of memories together. Shortly after, Leonard proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1953. He was stationed in Greenland during the Korean War. There he was involved in Operation Blue Jay, a secret project of the construction of Thule Air Base, which was later made public in September of 1952. Upon his honorable discharge from the army, Leonard returned home to his wife. Shortly after, Leonard and Carmel purchased a home in Nutley, NJ, where they raised their 2 sons Leonard C. and Gerard A. “Mr. D,” as he was known by students and faculty, had dedicated 33 years of his life to serving the Bloomfield Public School system. He began his career in education in the Newark Public School System at South 10th Street School, Newark, NJ.. While working full time, Leonard attended Seton Hall University at night for 16 years to obtain his B.S. and Master’s Degree, all under the G.I. Bill. In 1962 he joined the the Forest Glen School in Bloomfield, NJ as the 5th and 6th grade teacher. After only 3 years at Forest Glen, Mr. D. became the first and only vice principal and 2 years later principal. All while he was busy either teaching or being a principal, he dedicated his time in being an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University. In 1970 he accepted the position of principal at Oak View School in Bloomfield, NJ where he remained until his retirement in 1995, making Oak View School the No. 1 school in the system in all testing and academic achievements. Several honors were bestowed on Mr. Desiderio in recognition of his outstanding achievements and dedication to Oak View School. As a display of recognition for Mr. Desiderio's dedication to the students of Oak View School, the Bloomfield Board of Education named the school's gymnasium the “Leonard J. Desiderio Gymnasium” placing a bronze plaque above the entrance doors. The mayor of Bloomfield joined in the celebration by naming June 8, 1995, the date of the dedication, as Leonard J. Desiderio Day. Other honors were awarded to Mr. D. from the General Assembly of New Jersey, the United States Congress, and the Bloomfield Board of Education. These honors reflect the enormous amount of gratitude and respect the community felt toward Mr. Desiderio for his dedication to excellence in education. Mr. D started working at the age of 10 years old selling flags at a cemetery in Newark, New Jersey. All the money he made he gave to his mother to support their family. He continued to work in some fashion for the next 83 years. To supplement his income during the summer, Mr. D became involved and obtained ownership of businesses in Sea Isle City, NJ. The Sea Isle Swim Club, Sea Isle Go Karts, Fun Town Arcade, Lenny’s Penny Arcade, Sea Isle Kiddie Rides, and G’s Golf Course were some of the businesses. In 1984, Mr. and Mrs. D, along with sons Leonard C. and Gerard A. SR., purchased the Sea Isle Inn and Kix Package Goods and Lounge. He commuted weekly to and from Sea Isle City and Nutley to help run these businesses and eventually moved to Sea Isle City full time in 1995. Mr. D was an active part in these businesses and was involved up until January 1, 2022. He was involved in numerous community organizations such as Past Governor Newark Moose Lodge, Past Member of Nutley Unico, Past Member Nutley Elks, Past Member Bloomfield Kiwanis, Member of Sea Isle City Italian American Club, Past Board Member of 1st Bank of Sea Isle City, and many more. Leonard Desiderio is predeceased by his mother Jennie and father Anthony; along with his brother Robert, his sister Agnes Scialfa, and his son Gerard A. Sr. (2003). He is survived by his loving wife Carmel; son Leonard C. (Carmela); 3 grandchildren Carmela L., Gerard A. Jr., and Robert L.; his brother John; his daughter-in-law Tracy Murphy; and was loved by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends. Visitation will be held Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at The Godfrey Funeral Home of Palermo from 4pm-8pm and on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 from 9am-11:30am at St. Joseph Church in Sea Isle City, NJ. A mass of Christian burial will be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 12:00pm at the St. Joseph’s Church (4308 Landis Ave, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243). In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to be made to St. Joseph Church in Sea Isle City, NJ in honor of Leonard J. Desiderio. The Desiderio Family would like to thank all for their compassion, support, and love during this most difficult time.
Tuesday
18
January

Visitation at Funeral Home

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
The Godfrey Funeral Home Of Palermo
644 South Shore Road
Palermo, New Jersey, United States
Wednesday
19
January

Visitation at Main Service

9:00 am - 11:30 am
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
St. Joseph's R.C. Church
42nd And Landis Avenue
Sea Isle City, New Jersey, United States
Wednesday
19
January

Mass

12:00 pm
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
St. Joseph's R.C. Church
42nd And Landis Avenue
Sea Isle City, New Jersey, United States
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Leonard Desiderio

In Loving Memory

Leonard Desiderio

1928 - 2022

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