Neil Joseph O’Leary

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Neil Joseph O’Leary, 78, of Manhasset, died unexpectedly on Feb. 22 surrounded by his loving family.
Born on July 10, 1938 in New York City and raised in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Neil was the youngest child of Corneilius Joseph and Rachel (Fitzgerald) O’Leary, both Irish immigrants who came to this country in the early 1920s through Boston and Ellis Island, respectively, as young adults in search of a better life. Neil’s siblings, Eileen Murphy, Jack O’Leary and his twin brother, Daniel Francis O’Leary, all predeceased him.
Neil graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx in 1956 and from St. John’s University in 1961. Neil served as a reserve member of the United States Marine Corps from 1959 to 1965. Upon graduation from St. John’s University, Neil worked for Pan American World Airways in its operations and sales departments during its jet age, crossing paths with legends such as Charles Lindbergh, and it was there that he met his wife of 54 years, Sylvia Fernandez, a stewardess for Pan Am.
Neil went on to work in sales for IBM in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as a member of its country club in Sands Point, became familiar with Manhasset. He moved his family here in 1976 because he believed Manhasset and its wonderful residents embodied the American Dream. Neil went on to be a successful stockbroker, working for E.F. Hutton & Co. and Dean Witter Reynolds.
Neil was a gracious, generous man, who loved Manhasset and his family. Neil had a true charm and loved bragging about his family, especially his grandchildren, to anyone in town who was willing to listen, whether at his beloved Plandome Country Club, on line at the local deli or grabbing a quick bite at Louie’s Manhasset Restaurant. Neil instilled in his children and grandchildren the priority of family, the value of education, the importance of one’s integrity and the love of all things Irish.
Neil is survived by his wife, Sylvia, his daughter, Suzanne O’Leary Mills (Bill), his son Dennis Francisco O’Leary (Laura), and his six grandchildren, William Patrick IV (age 21), Anne Kathryn (age 19), Sarah Colleen (age 16), Megan Elizabeth (age 14), Kate Rachel (age 6) and Jack Robert (age 4).
Donations in Neil’s memory can be made to St. Francis Hospital, 100 Port Washington Blvd., Roslyn, NY 11576 or at www.stfrancisheartcenter.com.

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