Philip Vincent Patalano, a longtime Westporter before moving to Norwalk, died April 30. He was 98.
He is now likely sharing raisin meatballs and spaghetti with his wife Sudia “Winny” and watching the Mets on TV.
Born to Maria Rosa (Pisano) and Gaspare Patalano on March 19, 1922 in New York City, Phil was raised in Westport.
He served in the Army during World War II from 1943 to 1946. During that time friends introduced him to the love of his life “Winny” and they married on July 31, 1944.
He was unwaveringly loyal to her through better, worse, sickness and health. They lived briefly in the Carolinas, New Jersey, New York and then were longtime residents of Westport before moving to Norwalk in 1976.
Baseball was his sport and on his return to Westport he followed his passion playing ball and then coaching Babe Ruth League and Westport PAL for 15 years.
A devout Mets fan, Phil always looked forward to the annual pilgrimage with his friends and nephew Joe Lagana to Port St. Lucie for spring training.
He loved the Mets so much that he would give his young grandchildren money to bet against him on their games. Regardless of the winner he would then treat them to vanilla ice cream giving him another chance to convert them from Yankees to Mets fans.
Admired for his strong work ethic, Phil often worked multiple jobs at a time. After a failed attempt at retirement from his career at the U.S. Postal Service he put himself back to work at Morton’s in Saugatuck.
Phil was known for his charming smile which showed most through the roguish spark in his eyes while delivering a joke. His sense of humor was developed from a young age while teasing his sisters who outnumbered him three to one. His smile and his humor never left him.
If you sat at Phil’s table, and everyone who came over did, he’d serve you a generous meal. If you stopped after just one serving he’d look baffled, asking, “What’s the matter? You don’t feel good?” No one left Phil’s table hungry or in want of anything.
His greatest pride was his family: his wife, children, and grandchildren, and they all knew it. In all of Phil’s 98 years his watch never failed him and he was never late. A true man of his word he never missed a game, match, meet, birthday, or rite of passage and was always what any loved one aspires to be: there.
Phil was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, veteran, coach, and friend but mainly he was a sincerely generous man deeply committed to his family and his friends. He is dearly loved, will be greatly missed and always remembered.
He is survived by his children Philip James Patalano, daughter-in law Martha Patalano, and Paula Maria Patalano; his grandchildren Steven Patalano, Philip Patalano, granddaughter-in-law Kieran Patalano, Jason Patalano, Danielle deBouver, grandson-in-law Dan Stine, Kyle deBouver, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife Sudia “Winny” Gray Patalano, his sons Bruce Winstead Patalano and Benjamin Harrison Patalano, and four sisters Josephine Patalano, Maria Patalano, Madeline Roy and Sophie Lagana; brother-in-laws Walter Roy and Anthony Lagana.
The burial was private through Harding Funeral Home in Westport.
A memorial will be held at a future date.
The family requests that those wishing to honor Phil’s life commitment to faith and family make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.