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Leo M. Killeen, Sr.
Retired Belleville Fire Department Deputy Chief
World War II & Korean War Navy Veteran
Beloved Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather, 97
Mr. Leo M. Killeen, Sr., 97, of Belleville, NJ, passed away on Tuesday, January 2, 2023 at Mountainside Hospital, Glen Ridge. Visitation will be at the Biondi Funeral Home of Nutley, 540 Franklin Avenue, on Saturday, January 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The funeral will be conducted from the funeral home on Monday, September 8 at 10:00 a.m. There will be a funeral mass celebrated at St. Peter’s Church, 155 William Street, Belleville at 11:00 a.m. The interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, 340 Ridge Road, North Arlington with naval military honors.
Leo was born in Newark, NJ and resided in Belleville for many years, attending St. Peter’s, Belleville School #8 and Belleville High School.
He joined the Navy in 1944 and served as a Gunner’s Mate on the LST856 in the Pacific Theatre. Taking the brand new 856 from Seneca, Illinois down the Mississippi River, through the Caribbean Sea, the Panama Canal and off to war. They sailed through the Solomon and Mariana Islands to Okinawa. While preparing for the Invasion of Japan at Ulithi Atoll, the war ended. They were then assigned to transport Japanese prisoners from China to Japan.
Leo returned home and finished High School and attended college at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. The Korean War began and the Navy “requested” that he fly to Japan and join the aircraft carrier Valley Forge. They participated in the Inchon Landing, attacks on Wonson and the Chosin Reservoir. Leo was reassigned to the Battleship Iowa, BB61 and the USS General Anderson.
Leo was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, China Service Medal, Navy Occupation Medal and the Korean Service Medal.
He then settled in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where he became a firefighter. He stayed with the Naval Reserves and was a member of the first class in New London, Ct to graduate submarine school using the “Momsen Lung” as a submarine escape device.
He returned to Belleville where he became a Belleville Firefighter, going through the ranks of Captain to Deputy Chief, retiring in 1991 after a distinguished 33- year career.
He would have celebrated his 98th birthday on Saturday, January 6th.
Leo adored his family. He enjoyed camping, scuba diving, and touring the country in his motor home. Leo loved football, playing at school, college and watching his sons play.
He is survived by beloved children Kevin Killeen and his wife Noel, Susan Killeen, Constance Marie Bruzzichesi-Bolzan and her husband Raymond, Michael Bruzzichesi and his wife Lisa, William Bruzzichesi and his fiancé Hildy Friedman, and Robert Bruzzichesi and his wife Aurora, Leo Killeen, Jr. and his wife Yvonne; his 18 cherished grandchildren and 13 precious great-grandchildren.
Leo is predeceased by his wife Carol (Findlay) Killeen (2013), his son Leonard Louis Bruzzichese (2020), and his brothers Robert and Joseph Killeen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Tunnel To Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306, https://T2T.org.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation
2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island NY 10306