- About Us
Leo J. SpiritoJuly 30, 1931 ~ October 2, 2017 (age 86)
Educator, Mentor, Sports Official and Friend. Often call a "Man For All Seasons" as he officiated a different sport for each season of the year.
Leo J. Spirito, 86, of Springfield, NJ, died peacefully at home on Monday, October 2, 2017 surrounded by his loving family. The funeral will be from the Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Ave., Westfield, NJ on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. A Mass will be offered at St. James the Apostle Church, Springfield, NJ at 10:00 a.m. Entombment will follow at St. Gertrude's Cemetery, Colonia, NJ. Visitation will be on Monday, October 9, 2017 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the funeral home.
Born and raised in Elizabeth, the son of Michele and Josephine Spirito, he was a lifelong resident of Union County, living in Elizabeth and then Springfield. In his early years Mr. Spirito was known for shining shoes at his father's shop, and playing baseball for the Orchard Street Merchants in the Elizabeth City League.
Mr. Spirito was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth, and received his BA from Montclair State College and Masters in Education from Kean College.
After receiving his Master’s Degree, Leo taught Math and Science in Roselle Park, NJ for 38 Years, retiring in 1994. During this time he also worked part time as a Recreation Supervisor and Program Director for the Union County Parks and Recreation Department. He was well known in Union County as a sports official and assignor for high school soccer, football, basketball, baseball, and softball.
Leo had a longtime association with the NJ Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of which he spent over two decades as the NJ State Commissioner.
Leo was a Past President, Executive Board Member and Executive Secretary of the North Jersey Board of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO Board 33), He also served as President and Board Member of the School and College Officials Association (SCOA), the North Jersey Baseball Umpires Association (NJBUA) and the North Jersey Football Officials Association (NJFOA) He was also State Football Assignor for NJSIAA.
Leo has been the recipient of many prestigious awards. He was honored as a Life Member by the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials IAABO and has received the Dominic Cuccinello and Frank Corrigan Memorial Awards from IAABO Board #33. He was also inducted into the City of Elizabeth Hall of Fame, received the NFHS Official of the Year Award from NJSIAA, the
Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Distinguished American Award (UCIAC) and was honored by SCOA with the Leo Spirito Award presented to soccer officials for outstanding contributions to soccer.
Leo enjoyed traveling with his wife Patricia, attending NJ Devils games with his daughter Kate, and visiting with his grandchildren in Massachusetts. He spoke fondly of seeing Cassius Clay win the Gold Medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and visiting Monteverde, the hometown of his parents in Avellino, Italy.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Patricia (Nolan), of 48 years and his loving children, daughter Katherine Spirito, son Christopher Spirito and his wife Jennifer, granddaughters Olivia and Meghan, his sister, Edna Farrell and many relatives and close friends.