Pasquale “Patsy” Leo, 87, of Syracuse, passed away peacefully on March 17, 2021 at Francis House, following a battle with advanced Parkinson’s disease.
A lifelong resident of Syracuse, Patsy grew up on the near Westside attending St. Lucy’s Academy where he was a Syracuse Post-Standard first-team All-Parochial League basketball player. He was a graduate of Le Moyne College as well as a four-year starter for the Dolphins Hoops teams, becoming captain of the 1954-1955 squad. Following college, Patsy entered the U.S. Marine Corps Officers Training Program in Quantico, VA. He served seven years in the Corps, attaining the rank of captain while also completing his master’s degree from George Washington University.
Following his military service, Patsy returned to Syracuse and became the freshman basketball coach at Le Moyne College for much of the 1960s while also functioning as assistant coach and recruiter for Tommy Niland’s varsity squads. He also began his distinguished career with the Syracuse City School District, where he served as a social studies teacher, vice-principal and administrator within the Special Programs Division before retiring in the early 1990s. Patsy was also an avid golfer and enjoyed watching SU sports.
A devout Catholic, Patsy was a communicant of Most Holy Rosary Church. Following his retirement, he also spent many years working with the Sacred Heart Apostolate, enthroning many homes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Patsy was predeceased by his parents, Dominick and Catherine Marie; brothers, Antonio "Tony", Giuseppe "Joe", Salvatore "Sam", Theodore "Tom", Francesco “Frank”, Vincenzo “Jimmy” and Pietro “Peter”; granddaughter, Daniela Paniagua; and son-in-law, Edward Paniagua.
Surviving are his wife of over 65 years, the former Dorothy Aksterowicz; daughters, Catherine (Arthur) Bender of Syracuse, Celine “Tina” Paniagua of Nevada, Martha (Scott) Shatraw of Clinton and Maria (John) Petrus of Syracuse; sons, Peter (Patricia) of Cleveland, OH, Paul (Maria) of Syracuse and Andrew (Colleen) of Syracuse; sister, Mary Ann (Anthony “Nini”) Caruso of Syracuse; 17 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Relatives and friends may call Wednesday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to noon in Most Holy Rosary Church, Syracuse. A funeral Mass will follow at noon in the church. Patsy will be laid to rest in Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
The family would like to thank Dr. John Charles for his compassionate care these past years as well as the staff at Francis House.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Most Holy Rosary Church, 111 Roberts Ave., Syracuse, NY 13027 or to the Sacred Heart Apostolate, 813 North Shore Dr., Knoxville, TN 37919 or to Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208 or to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.