Michael A. Labozzetta(1919 - 2014)

NORTHAMPTON – Michael A. Labozzetta, 94, died peacefully Tuesday, April 29, 2014, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born Michaelangelo Antonio Labozzetta in Favazzina, Italy, on June 17, 1919, to Grazia (Cotroneo) and Antonio Labozzetta. In 1923, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and brother to join his father in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated New Utrecht High School and worked as a laborer in construction while he attended New York University, graduating in 1942. During World War II, Michael trained in Atlanta as a surgical technician and served in New Britain, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Japan with the 251st Station Hospital. In 1948, he married the love of his life, Viola Medori.

He was a passionate and enthusiastic educator who inspired many of his students and faculty. He taught Spanish and Italian at Shallow Junior High School and John Jay High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1964, he and Viola moved to Old Bethpage, N.Y., and Michael taught at Daniel Carter Beard Jr. High School and later Martin Van Buren High School in Queens,N.Y. where, in addition to teaching, he was Vice Principal and most proud that he had successfully introduced Italian to the foreign language department. He also taught night school at Charles Evans Hughes High School in Manhattan, N.Y. for 13 years, and was an administrator of summer school at Washington Irving High School for 26 years. He retired from teaching in 1979, but continued to work as an examiner of bilingual teachers for the NYC Board of Examiners until that department was terminated in 1990. He and Viola moved to Northampton in 1992. Mike was an early member of the New York City Teachers Union, and the Long Island Chapter of the Sons of Italy. After moving to Northampton, he thoroughly enjoyed participating in the local chapter of UNICO, taking trips and attending movies organized by the senior center, and playing bocce. He was a faithful parishioner of Blessed Sacrament and St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton churches; and he and Viola enjoyed many trips, especially to Italy and Puerto Rico.

Mike was a devoted son, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than to be with his family. He never missed a school or athletic event of his grandchildren. He loved sports, especially football and baseball, and UCONN women's basketball, and he took pride in having seen all the greats, like Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, and Lou Gehrig play. He relished lifelong friendships with many teaching colleagues who predeceased him and whom he deeply missed. Throughout his life, He remained in touch with his army buddies, and he and Viola attended many annual reunions around the country.

He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Santa Signore, and his brother Dominic Labozzetta.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Viola; his daughter, Marisa and son-in-law Martin Wohl of Northampton; his grandchildren, Carina Wohl and her husband Mark Arsenault, of Northampton, Ariana Wohl of Providence, R.I., Michael Wohl of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; his great grandchildren, Ethan and Luke Arsenault of Northampton; his sister-in-law Dorothy Schiavo of St. James, N.Y., his brother-in-law Gino Medori of Roswell, Ga.; and many loving nieces and nephews.

His family is grateful to have been blessed to have him with them for so long; he will be deeply missed and forever loved. Calling hours will be Sunday, May 4, 2014, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton. A Mass in celebration of his life will be held on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 10 am, at Blessed Sacrament Church, 336 Elm St., followed by a burial with military honors at Spring Grove cemetery in Florence. Contributions may be made to a .

Funeral Home

Czelusniak Funeral Home
173 North Street Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 584-3585

Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on May 2, 2014