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Thread: About Leonard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    About Leonard

    Whether serving with New York City's Finest or with its Bravest, Leonard Ragaglia of Staten Island was courageous. In nine years working in the 5th Precinct and seven years with Engine 54 in Manhattan, Ragaglia received numerous medals.

    He switched departments because "his father was a fireman," said his mother, Maureen, also of Staten Island. "He wanted to be one, too." The elder Leonard Ragaglia is retired after 13 years with Engine 23 in Manhattan. Their son, 36, has been missing since the World Trade Center attacks.

    After graduating from McKee High School, he joined the NYPD in 1985. During his police career, he received several medals for excellent and meritorious duty.

    In 1995, the younger Ragaglia received the Father Julian F. Deeken memorial medal from the Fire Department, his father said. The next year, his unit received the best unit citation for outstanding operations at a fire it handled alone.

    Besides his parents, Ragaglia is survived by his wife, Donna; two sons, Lenny, 10, and Anthony, 7; and 10 siblings: Maureen Scparta and Christine Durante, both of Campbell Hall, N.Y.; Janice Pucciarella, Linda Taccetta, Debra Ragaglia, Colleen Ragaglia and Lauren Ragaglia, all of Staten Island; Paul, of Orlando; and Danny and Stephen of Staten Island.

    Leonard J. Ragaglia, 36, FDNY, pushed others to do their best

    Although usually laid back, his determination made him an effective firefighter

    Tuesday, November 13, 2001

    Those who knew Westerleigh native Leonard (Lenny) Ragaglia, 36, describe him as a natural leader. Tall and muscular, with a contagious sense of humor and a fiercely competitive streak, he was often the first to tackle the job when he and other firefighters faced a particularly difficult task.

    "When everyone was complaining, he would just go," said Al Quinones, one of Mr. Ragaglia's colleagues at Engine Co. 54, Manhattan. "He pushed everyone around him to do their best."

    Mr. Ragaglia is one of 15 firefighters from Engine 54 missing since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

    The third -- and oldest boy -- of 11 children, he was a graduate of McKee High School.

    Mr. Ragaglia loved sports from an early age and played football, baseball, softball and basketball. He was a passionate fan of the New York Mets, Dallas Cowboys and New York Islanders.

    He had an absolute determination to win, according to friends and family members.

    "You never met anybody more competitive than Lenny," said Larry Wiltbank, who worked with Mr. Ragaglia when he was a police officer at the 5th Precinct, Manhattan. "Even in a simple game of Wiffleball, Lenny had to win."

    Mr. Ragaglia served as a police officer from 1984 until 1993, when he entered the Fire Academy. He was assigned to Engine 54 upon graduation.

    Although Mr. Ragaglia was usually "laid back," according to Mr. Wiltbank, his determination made him an effective police officer and firefighter. In 1989, Mr. Ragaglia and his partner at the 5th Precinct evacuated several families from a burning building on Mulberry Street, Manhattan, a rescue that earned him the precinct's "policeman of the year" award.

    His sense of humor also endeared him to others. He enjoyed pulling pranks on his co-workers and developed his own vocabulary, which many of his friends and family adopted.

    "The thing that everybody knows about Lenny is he had his own dictionary," said his wife, the former Donna Galante. "He liked to make up words."

    He would say, for example, that someone who was sleeping was "toes up." And a favorite greeting was, "Whattaya got?"

    "'Whattaya got?' means 'Hello,'" explained Mr. Wiltbank. " 'Whattaya got?' means 'What are we doing?' 'Whattaya got?' means 'Where are we going for lunch?' It could mean anything."

    "At the end, when he was going on to the Fire Department, everybody in the 5th Precinct spoke his language," said Mr. Wiltbank. "We called it 'Lenonics.'"

    Mr. Ragaglia was devoted to his wife and children, holding down several jobs to ensure they had what they needed.

    "He was the best husband, father and provider that you could ever ask for," said Mrs. Ragaglia, "and we love and miss him very much."

    "He was always working, always making things good for the family," said his father, Leonard S. Ragaglia. "He was loved by a lot of people. He was a joy, he truly was."

    Mr. Ragaglia enjoyed playing sports and video games with his two sons, Lenny Jr., 10, and Anthony, 7.

    "He was a third child," said his wife. "And they loved it."

    Mr. Ragaglia was very fit, and enjoyed running and weightlifting when he had time.

    "He also loved wrestling -- watching it and rolling around on the living room floor with his two boys," said Mrs. Ragaglia.

    He was a parishioner of St. Teresa's R.C. Church, Castleton Corners, and a member of the FDNY Columbia Association.

    In addition to his wife, Donna; his father, Leonard, and his sons, Lenny and Anthony, surviving are his mother, Maureen; seven sisters, Maureen Scparta, Linda Taccetta, Janice Pucciarelli, Christine Durante and Debra, Colleen and Lauren Ragaglia, and three brothers, Paul, Daniel and Stephen.
    Last edited by Chris; 01-17-2002 at 07:25 PM.

  2. #2
    May Lenny and the other 14 members of Engine 54/L4 in Manhattan never be forgotten. You are always on our minds. We love you and miss you more and more every day.

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