Anthony Molligo, Sr., a longtime resident of Port Washington and Manhasset, passed away on February 2, 2018, at St. Francis Hospital in Flower Hill. Known to his many friends as Tony, he was born in Washington, D.C in 1925, the third of four children born to Anthony and Domenica Cicala Molligo.
He enlisted in the US Navy in 1943 shortly after turning 18 and was assigned to LCI 530 (Landing Craft Infantry) as a Machinist Mate and was sent to the European Theater of Operations. His ship transported and landed multiple troops in 1944 throughout North Africa and Europe; most notably, they landed troops at Omaha Beach for the invasion of Normandy. Anthony and his shipmates spent 3 weeks crossing and re-crossing the English Channel, evacuating wounded and bringing supplies to the troops. His ship eventually made its way back to the Mediterranean, where its crew supported the invasion of Southern France.
After a brief leave, he was reassigned to a US Navy minesweeper in the Philippines to support the anticipated invasion of Japan. Anthony then spent 7 months in the Pacific after the surrender of Japan, sweeping for mines throughout the Philippines, Guam and the Marshall Islands.
For his service in so many theaters, Anthony earned multiple medals including the American Theater Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Medal and the Victory Medal. Characteristically modest, as were most of the “Greatest Generation,” he never claimed medals to which he was entitled, but eventually accepted them when his son, CDR Anthony J. Molligo, USN (Ret.). processed the paperwork to secure them. Without a doubt his WW2 experience and, his being among those fortunate enough to return, formed his character for the rest of his life.
Returning to the New York area after his discharge, he eventually met his future wife, Eleanor Szys, when he was a dance teacher at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. His passion and skill for dancing was known to all his friends. He regularly attended Senior Citizen events at Bar Beach, participating with great enthusiasm as recently as last summer. He particularly enjoyed attending a Glenn Miller Orchestra concert this past summer and commented that he felt that he was back in the 1940’s. He put his machinist skills to use working at a series of beverage plants, including Hoffman Beverage and Continental Can in NY and later Stroh’s Brewery in Allentown, PA.
Tony and Eleanor married in July of 1951 and had two sons, Anthony J. Molligo (Jackie) of Manhasset and John J. Molligo (Anna) residing in Eugene, Oregon. Eleanor predeceased him in 1998. In 2010, he married Alla Ryazanova Schwartz, who survives him. He is also survived his sister, Nancy Schaller of Flushing, NY and by two grandsons, Patrick Anthony Molligo and Sean Anthony Molligo (Alexa), as well as one great-grandson, Judah Molligo.
He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery later this year, where his family hopes he will be pleased to rest with the men and women with whom he served.