Groton - John P. Legnos, 93, of Groton Long Point and Ocala, Fla., died on Jan. 25, 2013.
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John was the son of Greek immigrants, born to Peter and Paraskevi Legnos on Dec. 12, 1919, in Hartford. He grew up with his younger brother, George, in Sheep's Head Bay in Brooklyn, N.Y., and spent summers at Sound View in Old Lyme, always influenced by the sea.
At the outset of World War II, they lost both of their parents. John, at age 20, characteristically stepped up, counseling his brother George and assisting him with his application to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. This was for George the beginning of a long and successful career as a merchant captain and fleet management. John always instilled by example to his family this unconditional generosity and dedication.
John married Nellie Masonis in 1942, in Connecticut.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a navigator in the Amphibious Force during World War II. In the D-Day Invasion of Normandy in Landing Craft Control, his LCC led the first wave to Dog Green, Omaha Beach. From there he made the landings in southern France and was involved in the transport of personnel and cargo between Italy and North Africa. John returned to the States and was sent to the Pacific for the Invasion of Japan. The atomic bomb ended the war, though it didn't save him from Typhoon Louise and her 150 knot winds. In early October 1944, the LST (Landing Ship Tank) he served on was wrecked along with 222 Navy ships and craft and another 12 sunk.
After the war ended, John earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Purdue University. He founded an engineering firm Legnos and Associates in Hartford, in 1952. As a practicing engineer, he was nominated and inducted into Pi Tau Sigma, the International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. He was very proud that his granddaughter, Ali ,was also a member. He received acclaim for his research and development work of the electrostatic precipitator to remove air pollution from flue gases in the 1960s. He also designed and operated with his family the Avon Convalescent Home and built and/or owned and managed several apartment buildings and complexes.
John bought a summer home in Groton Long Point in 1968, which continues to serve as home base for his children and grandchildren. Its dock has seen the farewell and welcome of many voyages and fishing expeditions. John was an avid sport fisherman who won several tournaments, most notably the U.S. Atlantic Tuna Tournament as an angler for the New London Tuna Club in 1981, 1983, and 1984. His record catch was a giant 830 pound bluefin tuna. He enjoyed fishing and taking his family out on his sportfishman Big Chief and Super Chief. He spent winters in Jupiter and Stuart, Fla., with his family and friends and loved fishing off Walker's Cay in the Bahamas.
John is survived by his daughter, Deitra Bardon; his son, Peter Legnos and his children, Kyle, Ali, and Hunter; and his son, Jay Legnos and his wife, Jackie Nash Legnos, and their children Jessica, Jillian, and Johnny.
He was predeceased by Nellie, his wife of 67 years, and his brother, George.
Please join the family at 3 p.m. on March 1, 2013, at Clark Hall in the Groton Long Point Yacht Club, 46 Beach Road, Groton Long Point, to celebrate the memory of his exceptional life.
Arrangements by Countryside Funeral Home, Anthony, Fla.
Published in The Day on Feb. 17, 2013