BABYLON - Andrew Salvatore Coccari, 89, died peacefully in his sleep Wednesday (Feb. 26, 2014).
Born as the seventh child of the late Bruno Coccari and Maria Theresa (Rovito) Coccari, was raised in Western New York and resided in Babylon for almost 60 years.
Andy started college at SUNY Cortland and played varsity soccer. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy
and went to Cornell University for the V-12 Navy College Training Program and played soccer there too. He was commissioned and served as a member of U.S. Naval Underwater Demolition Team 30 and was in the Naval Reserve until 1955.
He was married to the late Arlene Welker and upon returning from active duty, resided in Los Angeles where he earned his MA in science from UCLA and played varsity soccer. Andy was a dedicated physical education educator and administrator.
Throughout his life, Andy was a passionate advocate for expanding the opportunities to all to live a healthy lifestyle. He did two stints on the faculty of Syracuse University from 1952 to 1955, where he was the head coach of the varsity soccer team from 1964 to 1968.
He was a supporter in the 1960's of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and always pushed for a greater scope of physical education on the primary and secondary school levels. This passion led him to have the opportunity as a U.S. government consultant to work in Tehran, Iran in 1960 to develop a comprehensive national physical education program.
His long career in physical education culminated in his position as head of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation for Brentwood School District and he was active in the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
He retired in 1980 from the public sector to focus on his new company, Long Island Gym Equipment Co. He successfully serviced public schools and universities in the metro New York Area until he retired at the age of 82.
He took many outdoor vacations with his wife, Arlene, and they both loved the Adirondacks and the Florida wilderness. He was an active member of St. Joseph's Church in Babylon.
He is survived by his five children, Paul, Diane, Gregg, Phillip, and Andrew; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Friends may call at the Treusdell Funeral Home, Belfast Saturday from 9 to 10:30 am. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. with prayers at funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Saturday (March 1, 2014) at 11 a.m. in St. Patrick's Church, Belfast. The Rev. Dennis Mancuso, pastor, will be celebrant. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Belfast.
Memorials may be made to
, 1120 S. Goodman St. Rochester, NY 14620. Condolences may be expressed at www.treusdellfuneralhome.com.