The Obit For Greg Parante

Gregory Parente, 88

By Staten Island Advance
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Gregory (Greg) Parente, 88, a retired longshoreman, World War II veteran and professional baseball player, died Sunday in Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.

A lifelong resident of Rosebank, he attended St. Mary’s School in Rosebank and was a star baseball pitcher at New Dorp High School when he graduated in 1942. A few weeks later, Mr. Parente found himself turning down a professional baseball contract offer with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he became the third person in his family to be drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a sergeant stationed in Le Havre, France, as a member of the 279th Port Company.

For his military service, he received the EAME Service Medal with service Arrowhead, Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

Following the war, he returned to Staten Island and was soon signed to a contract with the Chicago White Sox organization, where in the summer of 1945, he set a record with 23 strikeouts in a single professional baseball game as a member of the Cordele White Sox. He remained with the organization until an injury to his pitching arm ended his career.

Back home in 1948, he began a more than 40-year career as a Longshoreman with the International Longshoremen’s Association at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, ultimately becoming general foreman before retiring in 1990.

Mr. Parente was a member of the Sgt. Michael J. Labetti Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and the Rosebank Boys.

“My father considered his family to be his greatest accomplishment,” said his daughter, Barbara Considine. “He was a true family man and the simple things are what gave him the most pleasure in his life. Spending time with his family and friends, tending to his legendary backyard garden that fed all those he knew and watching baseball on television made him happiest. The seats at his kitchen table were always filled with those that loved him and he loved.”

In addition to his daughter, Barbara, surviving are his wife of 64 years, the former Marie Cavalli; a son, Greg; a brother, Fiorello (Little Babe); four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be Saturday from the Casey Funeral Home, Castleton Corners, with a mass at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s R.C. Church, Rosebank. Burial will be in Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp.