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Mildred Leonetti

1916 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Mildred Leonetti Obituary
Mildred Leonetti

Brant Beach - Mildred T. Leonetti, age 101 passed away on Friday, January 12, 2018. She was born on February 18, 1916 in Philadelphia, PA into the Walsh family of Irish descent. She was one of 12 children: 11 girls and 1 boy. She did not finish school in her childhood, as was the story of so many in those times, but she has led a long and interesting life with many accomplishments. Millie married Angelo Leonetti, also from Philadelphia, in the early 1940's. When WWII was declared, he enlisted in the US Army Aircorp. Millie followed him to Texas while he was in Aircorp School and worked as a governess to help pass her time. She returned to family in Philadelphia when he was shipped overseas. Angelo's plane was shot down over Germany and she suffered great anguish fearing he was gone. He had, in fact been captured and held as a POW. Angelo remembered one prisoner in particular, and upon their release and return to Philadelphia, discovered that he was married to Millie's sister. Millie and Angelo had 4 children together: Jim, Bob, Annmarie and David. In 1946 they moved with their two eldest children to Hobart Avenue in Beach Haven Crest, Long Beach Township. They later moved to a house on Long Beach Boulevard in the Crest as the family grew. Angelo worked as a house painter until the time he became Patrolman for the Long Beach Township Police Department. He moved up through the ranks and when the chief passed away, he was promoted and became the new Police Chief for the town. He and Millie built a new home for their family in Brant Beach, also on the Boulevard, and moved there in 1959. It is there that Millie still resides today. Along with several others, Chief Leonetti lost his life in a rescue mission during the Great March Storm of 1962. Mildred was abruptly left to finish raising 3 teenagers and a 5 ½ year old on her own! She bravely took on the role of Single Mom while working hundreds of hours as a volunteer. She also took the time to earn her High School degree at Southern Regional's evening Adult School classes. She was a great caregiver, tending to Grandmom and Mom Wilda, Besa Hilliard and Mom and Pop Bauerly. She was extremely active and held many official positions in the St. Francis Altar and Rosary Society, the LBI Woman's Club, the LBI Garden Club, Deborah Hospital and perhaps closest to her heart, the Boosters for Southern Ocean County Hospital (SOCH). She continued to work as a volunteer as SOCH for 20+ years after it was built. During those years, she and her close friends including Grace McClellan, Ann Hoffman, Adelaide Kapler, Helene Nobel, Kathryn Beall, Madeline Mancini and Theresa Schnell ( to name a few) became "LBI Socialites of the Sixties and Seventies" modeling in fashion Shows and Hostessing Fund-raising dinners, charity affairs and the like. Today Millie's family has grown to include 6 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. On February 18 2016 Millie celebrated 100 years of life. Today her sons David and Bob are her main caregivers along with assistance from her grandson Jim Leonetti and several devoted aides. They were all with her, as well as her granddaughter Michelle, on the evening of the 18th to celebrate her special 100th Birthday and her amazing life accomplishments. God Bless Millie! Private funeral arrangements are under the direction of Bugbee-Riggs Funeral Home, Ship Bottom.
Published in Beach Haven Times on Jan. 25, 2018
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