Armando “Chick” Galella passed away on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at Phelps Hospital, Northwell Health in Sleepy Hollow, New York due to complications caused by COVID, Chick was 100 years old. Born in New York City on January 1st, 1921. His family moved to North Tarrytown, New York in 1923.Chick’s father Vincenzo died soon after their move leaving Theodora to raise three young boys during the Great Depression.
Chick attended North Tarrytown schools and upon his 1939 graduation he enlisted in the United States Army in 1940. He would be by joined by many other North Tarrytown High School boys whose forecast for a future seemed hazy during this difficult and tragic period in American history.
Following his basic training he was assigned to the 443rd Signal Corps at Hickam air base, Hawaii, next to Pearl Harbor.
Chick survived the December 7th, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. His two brothers, Frank and Alfred, who predeceased Chick, immediately entered the United States Army leaving their mother Theodora with three sons facing the dangers that lied ahead. Chick went on to serve five years in the Pacific Theater. He achieved the highest rank an enlisted man can achieve, Battalion Sergeant Major. Chick was awarded the Bronze Star medal, the nation's fourth highest combat award, for meritorious service and bravery in the battle of Okinawa. His eldest brother Frank also received this distinction for his meritorious service in the European Theater. Both of his brothers, Frank and Alfred Galella, were part of the allied invasion of Europe.
Chick returned home to North Tarrytown and in 1946 met his future wife, Leda DiFelice. Leda and Chick were married in 1947.
Following his discharge in 1945, Chick’s professional life, which spanned nearly half a century, was in the automobile business. Primarily as a car salesman and then as a sales manager for both Cawood Motors and later Frank Chevrolet. As a North Tarrytown “son” his career was tied to the fortunes of General Motors and it’s Chevrolet Division.
Chick’s service to our country was equaled by his service to his civic and church communities. For many years, Chick served as a North Tarrytown village trustee he was also Deputy Mayor. Since 1948 Chick has been a member of Pocantico Hook and Ladder company and is now an honorary life member. From 1961 to 1971 he served as Fire Commissioner for the village in addition to serving on the fact-finding board for the General Motors expansion program.
Chick also had a tireless relationship with his church, the Immaculate Conception Parish. He was a member of the Holy Name Society, Parish Councilman and Trustee. He volunteered a near twenty-five years of service as the parish’s Bazaar Chairman. It remains unparalleled in duration.
In 1956, he was active in the parish’s acquisition and renovation of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church which in 1957 would become the new Immaculate Conception Church. Then in 2014 through the commitment of its parish members, the Westchester Maronite Catholic Mission’s home was established at the Immaculate Conception Church. When the parish became the Saint John Paul II Parish at the Immaculate Conception Chick was ever present. He assisted in the transition in many ways.
In 1999, Chick’s relentless petitions to the Village of Sleepy lead to the renaming of a waterfront park in Sleepy Hollow to Horan's Landing. This was done to honor his friend and fellow North Tarrytown enlistee, John J. Horan, who was killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. John Horan was the first resident of the village to be a casualty of World War II. Chick did not rest in remembering the fallen heroes of our country. Chick continued to participate in the annual Pearl Harbor remembrance held annually at the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum in New York City, as well as the annual town of Suffern commemorations.
In May of 2021, in cooperation with The Historical Society of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, Chick chaired the committee that raised sufficient funds to erect the Margaret J. Horan, Gold Star Mothers’ Memorial. The Memorial is now the focal point of Horan’s Landing Park in Sleepy Hollow.
During his later years he continued to attend local classrooms at the request of teachers to provide the children with a living history of his WWII experiences as well as lessons of life. A former Superintendent of the School District once described Chick’s lessons as, “A story about service, handed down from the Greatest Generation to the youngest generation”.
Chick was honored as the Grand Marshal of the Sleepy Hollow Columbus Day Parade and annually presided over the villages’ Memorial Day Parade. In 2018, Chick served as the honorary chair of the Sleepy Hollow St. Patrick's Day Parade. He was inducted into Westchester County Senior Citizen Hall of Fame and was named Honorary Mayor for a day in Sleepy Hollow and was inducted in the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.
In 2018, The Rotary Club of the Tarrytown dedicated a bench in Chick’s honor. It is a fixture in Patriot’s Park. The bench plaque names him as the honoree with the words, “Never Forget” in the inscription.
Chick’s wife, Leda DiFelice Galella, died in September 2015 after 65 years of marriage. He has two son’s Armando Junior (Susan Park DMD) of Dunedin, Florida; Michael (Donna Baer), of Cortland Manor, New York; three grandchildren Andrea Lattanzio (Jim) Tarrytown, NY; Melissa Volpe (Anthony) of Hicksville, NY, and Bryce Galella. And four great-grandchildren, AJ, Mia, Ellis and Luke, and former daughter-in-law, Brenda Halpin Galella of Hicksville, New York.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Coffey Funeral Home, Tarrytown. Viewing will be held Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5 from 4 PM until 8 PM both days, at The Immaculate Conception Church, John Paul II Maronite located at 199 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY. The Funeral will be held at the church at 11 AM on Wednesday, October 6.
On Wednesday morning October 6th, the McKeel Avenue parking lot in Tarrytown will be available for parking for Chick's Funeral Mass. A shuttle bus to Immaculate Conception Church will begin running at 10:00.
The family is requesting that memorial donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Best Defense Foundation, 249 HWY 101, Suite 312, Solana Beach CA 92075. Memorial donations can also be made on their website as well, bestdefensefoundation.org
Parking is available on the grounds of the Public Schools across the street from the church on Monday and Tuesday AFTER 4:00 PM
MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED DURING ALL VISITING HOURS AND
DURING THE FUNERAL MASS
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