Harold Leonelli

Obituary of Harold A. Leonelli

Please share a memory of Harold to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
After battling infections contracted following a minor stroke, Harold Anthony Leonelli of Carrie Ct, Niskayuna, passed peacefully on July 30th, 2023, at his home with his family alongside him. Known to his friends as “Hal”, Harold was the youngest son of Charles and Lena (Nerone) Leonelli. Harold was born in Bronx, NY on November 12, 1933. Along with his 2 brothers, Chuck and Richard, Harold grew up in tough times and quickly learned both the value of hard work and the importance of family. Harold lost his father at the tender age of three. After Harold’s father passed, his mother labored long days as a seamstress in the Bronx. She worried about her sons while she was at work and made the difficult decision to temporarily send Harold and his brother, Richard, to the Masonic Home for Boys in Utica, NY. When she was able to, she moved upstate to South Glens Falls to be near her sister Josie and have the support of other relatives in South Glens Falls & Schuylerville, NY. And the boys were old enough to return home and “help with the canning of vegetables” and begin work at the local paper mill. Harold graduated from South Glens Falls High School. A fiercely competitive athlete, he was a 4-sport letterman, including being the starting quarterback of his football team and helped lead his baseball team to a county championship. His letterman sweater sported his nickname of “Cookie” which his cousin’s had coined Harold with as a young boy because of his love of cookies. You will still find his favorite Milano cookies in his refrigerator today. A devoted father of 5 children, Harold was determined to be a good provider for his family. He worked hard to move up the ladder of success starting with hauling pallets of paper at the local paper mill to restaurant car park attendant, to bartender. After graduating from Siena College, he entered the insurance industry, eventually establishing a successful independent insurance agency, The H. A. Leonelli Agency has been in downtown Schenectady, NY for over 50 years. At 89 yrs. old, Hal was reluctant to retire and was still running the agency up until his hospitalization this May. He resisted his children’s encouragement to relax and sell the business but like his favorite song, continued to live his life “My Way”. Never one to be shy about sharing his opinions we learned that, even as adults, “Dad’s Way” was usually the right way. And much to our chagrin, we typically regretted not following his advice as he was most often spot on with his observations. Harold’s competitive nature extended lovingly to his children. He developed an interest in tennis in the 1970’s and after educating his children in the sport, he challenged them to try and defeat him in a 3-set match and offered two hundred dollars if they could beat him before the age of 18. Needless to say, no one collected. In fact, it amused him to let us get ahead before then “showing us how it’s done”. Later in life his passion became golf. An avid (some might say obsessive) golfer, he was once heard to remark that he gave up hitting holes-in-one after his third because, “it just means that, by tradition, I have to buy drinks for the whole club, and that gets expensive.” He was the loving patriarch of the family, and he will be deeply missed. We were blessed to have him as our father and we cherish the many fond memories of the fun and chaotic family vacations, summers in Lake George, and celebrations over the years. Survivors include his older brother, Charles and his five children Christine Leonelli, Susan Miltner (husband Terry), David Leonelli, Anne Leonelli-Gallo (husband Dave) and Beth Leonelli. “Poppa Hal” was also survived by 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren, as well as many dearly loved cousins. To celebrate Harold’s life his children will be hosting a memorial luncheon at The Glens Falls Country Club where he was a member for over 30 years. The memorial will begin at 12pm on Sunday August 6th. All are welcome. A graveside service will be held at a later date. Those that wish to memorize Harold’s life are encouraged to donate in his name to St. Jude’s or Shriners Hospita
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harold Leonelli, please visit Tribute Store

memorial Luncheon

12:00 pm
Sunday, August 6, 2023
Glens Falls Country Club
211 Round Pond Rd
Queensbury, New York, United States
Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Online Event
About this Event
Harold Leonelli

In Loving Memory

Harold Leonelli

1933 - 2023

Look inside to read what others have shared
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
Share Your Memory of