Hamden- Leonard Leto, 86, of 3409 Whitney Ave., Hamden, devoted husband of the late Dora Panizari Leto, died peacefully on Feb.15, 2007 in Cambridge, MA after a brief illness. Mr. Leto was born in Bridgeport, CT Sept. 23, 1920, a son of the late Ottavio Leto of Ribera, Sicily and Josepine Nigro of Modica, Sicily and had been a resident of Hamden since 1993. He served in the US Army during WW II, in the Philippines and New Guinea, and earned a B.S. Degree in Chemistry from Northeastern University. He worked as a forensic chemist in the CT Dept. of Health Toxicology Lab in Hartford for 25 years until his retirement in 1997. Earlier, he worked as a chemical engineer in the aerospace industry. He retired in Hamden where he embraced his newfound community of welcoming friends. An avid music lover, he enjoyed choral, operatic and classical music, aerobic dancing, travel and living life fully. He was an active member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church having sung in the choir, a member of the Hamden Senior Center, the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion Post # 88, and the Trinacria M.A. Society of Bridgeport. He is survived by 2 daughters and their husbands, Leona "Arthur" May of Stratford, CT, Elizabeth "Scott" Leto Fulton of Boston, MA, 2 sons and a daughter-in-law, John "Paulette" Leto of West Haven, and Thomas Leto of Washington, DC, 2 grandchildren, Sean May and Asa Fulton, a great-granddaughter Leah May, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by a brother Anthony Leto. Friends may call Fri., Feb. 23, from 4-8 p.m. at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE., HAMDEN. Friends and relatives are invited to go directly to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Sat. at 10 a.m. Interment with Military Honors in Centerville Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Northeastern University Annual Giving Program, 716 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02120.

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  1. Brian and I wish to extend our sincere sympathy and prayers to Len’s family and friends. Actually, we knew him as ‘Leonardo’ and we are now wondering if that name was given to him by Father John Gatzak on our trip to Italy with him! Brian and I were honored to meet Len on our honeymoon to Italy, 2005. We knew nobody prior to the trip and after spending two weeks with ‘our group’ at FJ Tours, we grew extremely fond of Len. The first day we met on the bus to the airport and he saw that Brian had his guitar, he ‘chummed’ right up with him. 🙂 I’ll never forget Len always wanting Brian to play so he could sing with him. We became a tightly knit group in those two beautiful weeks and when we drove past Len’s father’s hometown in Sicily one day, the bus driver (Tony!)actually stopped the bus on the side of the road and let Len get out and walk around for a few minutes. It was so very, very cool of the bus driver to do this; you could see how Len was so thrilled. 🙂 If you don’t have the DVD of that trip where Len expresses that very moment, you need to get a copy from Father John (ORTV). Brian and I also had the pleasure of going to dinner with Len one night; a special place he had found. It was there that we learned about his past and all about his children, and how proud he was of them. Meeting and talking with Lisa over the phone recently proved he had every right to be proud. I’ll never forget visiting a town in Sicily where all the town men were gathered in the square; Len asked Brian to play ‘O sole mia’ and proceeded to ‘croon’ away. :)Our trip would not have been the same without him. God rest his beautiful soul, and may He grant peace and comfort to Len’s family and friends. The memories of those we love will never leave our hearts.

  2. Dear Leona, Sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I will try to attend his wake this evening. See you then. Sincerely, Sharryn

  3. Dear Lisa & Family, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. I have found memories of you and your parents, growing up together and in drum corp. Cherish all your wonderful memories of him. My family and I recently relocated to Ft. Myers, Florida and I apologize for not being there. My condolences to you and your family. Love, Gloria

  4. Dear Lisa & Family, My deepest sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time. I remember when we were very young men singing together in Bridgeport and making many people happy. I know he is singing with the angels. May he rest in peace.

  5. Dear Lisa and Family, I remember so many good times in Bpt. with you, your mom and Dad on Noble Av. We were in Drum Corp together and had so many good friends. I work nights and couldnt make it to the funeral home. I am going to try and make the mass. Lisa, I am sorry to hear about your dad. Never forget growing up in Bpt and all the good friends and family you have…Love ya Deb MacLennan

  6. Leona, Lisa, John and Tommy my thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones during this difficult time. I enjoyed every moment I had to spend with your father and those memories will be with me forever. With Love, Sarah

  7. Lisa, May you and your family be surrounded by love and peace as you put your dad to rest. I feel your pain. When I think of your dad, this is the picture I see – him always smiling. I am sure he is smiling now. Much love to you and your family.

  8. YOUR DAD WAS SO SPECIAL TO US AND WE WILL MISS HIM SO MUCH. HE ALWAYS HAD A JOKE AND A SONG IN HIS HEART. OUR CHOIR WILL NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT HIM, AND HE WAS SANTA FOR SO MANY YEARS AT OUR CHRISTMAS PARTY. HE WOULD MAKE SOMETHING FOR THE PARTY AND HE WAS SO PROUD OF HIS COOKING. HE WAS SO KIND TO ALL, AND ALWAYS A SMILE, A HANDSHAKE OR EVEN A KISS. I JUST WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW HAPPY HE WAS TO SEE YOU AND TALK TO YOU. HE WAS SO VERY SPECIAL, AND HE WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEART AND IN OUR PRAYERS. GOOD BYE LENNY AND THANK YOU FOR BRING SO MUCH HAPPINESS TO THOSE WHO KNEW YOU. WE LOVE YOU. GOD BLESS YOU AND ENJOY THE CHOIR OF ANGELS, FOR WE KNOW YOU ARE SINGING WITH THEM.

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