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Michael Priano


1923 - 2019
Michael Priano Notice
PRIANO - Michael Sr., champion swimmer and an original "frogman", passed away on December 20, 2019. He was 96. Priano was a Specialist (X) Third Class with the Office of Strategic Services Maritime Unit operating in Asia during WWII. Born April 1, 1923 to Vincent Priano and Frances (Ambrosio) Priano; raised in Brooklyn and attended Erasmus Hall HS. He swam for the Flatbush Boy's Club and the NY Athletic Club. In his teens, Priano won the 330-yard Individual Medley at the senior national AAU championships. He was a lifeguard at Coney Island and Riis Park and briefly swam for Ohio State. Priano left college and joined the Navy at the start of WWII. Assigned to the OSS Operational Swimmer Group II, he was deployed to Burma and Ceylon. Priano was awarded the Bronze Star for "meritorious service in espionage operations and reconnaissance patrols". He married Vivian Stewart in 1944. They moved from Brooklyn to Levittown in 1954. Priano coached a local swim team for years mentoring many young swimmers and divers. At retirement, they moved to Palm Coast, FL where he continued to swim, body surf and garden. They were members of the American Legion, Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club and the Unitarian Universalist fellowship of Ormond Beach. Vivian, the love of his life, died in 2005. He is survived by his children, Michael Jr., James and Jeanne (Giaccone), six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren all of whom share his love of swimming and the ocean.
Published in Newsday on Jan. 12, 2020
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