Manny Leone

May 30, 2016

Manuel "Manny" Leone, 94, of Syracuse, passed away peacefully at the Francis House on May 30, 2016.

He was a proud graduate of Syracuse University, having pursued his degree over several years while working full time. His own graduation from College coincided with his eldest son's graduation from high school in 1968. It marked a very proud moment in a lifetime of achievement.
He leaves behind a near century old legacy of loving service to his country, his community, and his family.

He was born in 1921 in a small village north of Naples, Italy. His father, Joseph, had left Italy shortly before to prepare a pathway for his family. At age 8, Manny along with his mother, Anna, and sister, Fiorita, followed. Brothers Edward and Sylvester would be born here later in the 1930's.

His success as a high school and semi-pro athlete was followed by his service to his country in World War II. He served in the US Navy (1943-1946) aboard The USS Shaula, a transport vessel in the Pacific. When asked to reenlist following the war, he respectfully declined stating "I'll never wear blue again". That proved not to be the case when he joined the Syracuse Police Force in 1951.

Just prior to joining the force, he met and married Ann Marie Canestraro in 1948. Their loving partnership was held tightly together by love, mutual respect, and commitment not only to one another, but to their three sons.

Manny's 35 year career with The Syracuse Police Department was remarkable. Rising from uniformed officer to the rank of Detective Sergeant, his network of colleagues, friends, and associates was as complex and diverse as it was extensive. Upon his retirement in 1986, local columnist Dick Case wrote of Manny, "He was 'The Book' on crime in Syracuse for the past 30 years. Murders were confessed to him and thieves that he put in jail would call him for job references". The word on the street was that if you were going to be arrested in Syracuse, you wanted to be arrested by Manny.

His moral compass unfailingly pointed true north. It was by word and by example that he and Ann taught their sons to be honest and fair. Everything else would fall into place.

Middle son, John, attended St. Vincent's High School but eldest son, Joe, and youngest son, Ed, attended CBA where they were standout athletes. "The Leone Line" at CBA continued through the decades as four of Manny's grandchildren are graduates. Ed continues on as the Varsity Basketball Assistant - now in his 3rd decade. Over the years, it became customary for the CBA teams of their grandchildren to "crash" at Manny and Ann's, taking pre game naps and scarfing down pre game meals.

Manny was a true patriarch. With his father and brothers in 1957, and with his own hands, he built the house where he and Ann raised their family, and where they still reside to this day. His was the phone that would ring when scores of nephews, nieces, and friends were in need of anything. Manny could always be counted on.

His was a full, complete life - equal parts love and hard work. His job was well done.

Manny is survived by his loving wife and partner of 67 years, Ann Marie, and his three sons, Joseph (Laurel), John (Julia) of Easton PA., and Edward. He also leaves behind his sister, Fiorita Leone, and his brother, Edward (Rosemary). A younger brother, Sylvester (Rocky), predeceased him.

He also leaves behind 7 grandchildren - Jason (Amber), Lindsay Corbett (Dan), Joe (Sarah), Greg (Tricia), John Manuel (Jenna), Amanda, and Anna; along with 6 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 3, 2016 at the THOMAS J. PIRRO JR. FUNERAL HOME, followed by a Funeral Mass in celebration of Manny's life at 9 a.m. in St. Vincent de Paul Church. Entombment will be in Assumption Cemetery. Family and friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, 2016 at the funeral home, 3401 Vickery Rd. (corner of Buckley Rd.) North Syracuse, NY.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208 or Hospice of CNY, 990 Seventh North St., Liverpool, NY 13088.