Saturday, December 29, 2012
Leonard J. Massello, 87
Leonard J. Massello, a resident of Westport and Naples, Fla., died Dec. 25 in Naples. He was 87.
Born and raised in Yonkers, N.Y., he was the son of the late Joseph and Palma Massello.
After graduating Yonkers High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines. During World War II, he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Air Wing in Cherry Point, N.C. and served in the Pacific Theater until the end of the war.
After working in the fruit and produce business with his father, he went to Cuba and started his own export business, shipping produce to the U.S. specializing in pineapples and produce.
From there he joined Mack Trucks serving in a variety of positions. He successfully purchased their factory branches in Bridgeport, West Haven and Waterbury and for more than 20 years he was one of Mack Trucks largest producers.
Other companies were merged into the overall, including Truck Lease, Inc. of New Haven; Auto Truck Lease and WM McCullough Transportation Co. of Elizabeth, NJ; Connecticut Mack Leasing and Connecticut Mack Equipment Sales and Service of Bridgeport, and Olsen Electric Motors of Abington, Mass.
Partnerships with Bob Katz and Bob Heim in Florida included KLM Development Co. and Marco Beach Realty which produced numerous condominium projects and commercial buildings.
Other partnerships included the Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Land development and condo construction in partnership with Kevin Bartlett produced the following developments: Caswell Cove Condominiums & Marina in Milford; Village at New Canaan; Silverbrook II in Orange; The Village at Ridgefield; The Village at Black Rock; Hockanum Glen Subdivision in Beacon Falls; and High Ridge Estates in Southbury.
He was a past member of the Trumbull Exchange Club, BOP 36 Elks Club, Mill River Country Club, the Connecticut Golf Club and the Classics Country Club of Naples.
He was preceded in death by his son, Leonard Massello, Jr. Survivors include his wife, Julie Massello; ex-wife, Dorothy Fee Massello; brother Joseph Massello; sister, Dorothy Fiorenza; and son, Leon Bennett.
Funeral services will take place on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 10 a.m. in the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull, and at 11 a.m. in St. Theresa Church, Trumbull for a Mass of Christian Burial.
Interment with military honors will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Shelton. Relatives and friends may call on Wednesday, Jan. 2, from 4-8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Ride Nature, 3100 Bailey Lane, Naples, FL 34105 or online at http://www.ridenature.com.
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport