Monday, November 12, 2012
Arthur “Art” A. Reale, a Staples High School graduate, World War II veteran, and former Westport Animal Control Officer, died Nov. 10 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 90.
Reale, a lifelong Westport resident, served as grand marshal of Westport’s Memorial Day parade in 2006. Word of his death spread rapidly at Sunday’s Westport Town Hall Veterans Day ceremony, an event he regularly attended.
Born in Saugatuck on Dec. 26, 1921, he was the son of the late Salvatore and Lillian (Carrara) Reale.
He was a 1940 graduate of Staples High School and was the captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran and served as a radio operator in the South Pacific during World War II.
During the 2006 Westport Memorial Day ceremony, Reale said his ship was torpedoed during a trip back to Pearl Harbor on June 21, 1945.
“My father’s name is up there,” Reale said of the statue honoring World War I veterans on Veterans Green. “I feel like he’s looking down on me from the doughboy.”
Reale told the Memorial Day crowd he appreciated all that there was to living in Westport because the community is compassionate, loving, forward-looking and always wants to help.
“Westport people have an instinct to help, and I am proud to be a part of that,” he said.
He said he was honored to be the grand marshal, a designation he never anticipated or felt he deserved.
“The highest honor I had was to spend four years in the Navy for a country that shows compassion, love and tried to do good,” he said.
Reale worked for Nash Engineering for many years where he started out as a machinist and worked his way in to the personnel department.
After his retirement, he worked as the Animal Control Officer in Westport for 12 years, the town’s designated responder for all incidents involving an animal.
He ran the Norwalk Industrial League and was a member of the Westport Advertiser football team.
He traveled the country playing fast pitch softball and played for the Raybestos Cardinals. In 1971, he was inducted in to the Connecticut fast pitch softball Hall of Fame in 1971.
In 1982, Reale was the recipient of a Westport Sportsman Award.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Eugenia Starzyck Reale, two daughters, Diane Reale of Farmington, and Patricia Serafino and her husband Michael of Feeding Hills, Mass., one brother, Vincent Reale and his wife Elaine of Downingtown, Pa., and his three grandchildren, Melody Serafino, Noelle Serafino and Brandon Serafino.
Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. in Assumption Church 98 Riverside Ave., for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, 73 Greens Farms Road.
The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Thursday, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund, PO Box 97089, Washington, DC 20090.
Condolences for the Reale Family may be left on line at http://www.hardingfuneral.com.
Posted 11/12/12 at 09:10 PM
Art was a credit to our town and all whom he served. It was a pleasure and a privledge to know him. My condolences to his wife and family
My thoughts and prayers to his family. I had the great pleasure and honor to work with Art. He was a real kind soul and took great pride in his work as Animal Control Officer.
He always provided me with kindness and courtesy that I will always remember.
Rest in Peace Art.
Retired Police Captain
Art was a Westport icon. He was just one of the “good guys” His service to the town, his eternal big smile and always positive spin on life made him a person you were always glad to see again. Thanks Art for letting us sled in your back yard when others chased us away so long ago,we will miss you at the parade next year.
I became friends with Art and his family shortly after I moved to Westport. We became friends and our friendship lasted until his passing, I was proud to call him a best friend. Westport has lost one of it’s heroes and he will be missed in so many ways. I am truly thankful for having known Art and his wonderful family.
Rest in Peace my friend.
Art Reale was one of the best athletes of Westport. He
was a friend and relative. We met at Okinawa 24 hours after his ship was torpedoed. Art wanted me to see the damage. We met ashore that afternoon. The air raid siren went off. Art insisted that I get under a truck with him. I hesitated, because I was watching the Kamikazi, and he grabbed me and pulled me under the truck. I’ll always miss you, Art.
Lou Dorsey Sr
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Reale,
Diane(DeDe) and Patricia.
Westport has lost one of their finest citizens.
Ken & Laura Machol
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