John “Colonel” Licata, of Closter (formerly of Dumont), died peacefully on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at the age of 89. Predeceased by his beloved wife Ann “Annie” (née Robibero). Devoted father of Joseph Licata and his wife Jacqueline, and Michael John Licata and his wife Robin. Cherished grandfather of Lorenzo, Brianna and Nico. Predeceased by brothers, Angelo and Anthony, and sisters, Rosie, Francie, Josie and Mary.
The Colonel was born in Brooklyn, NY to Rosaria (née Ciaravino) and Emilio Licata, both Italian Immigrants. He was a toll collector with the N.J.Turnpike Authority for 31 years, retiring in 1990. He was a member of St. John’s Council #1345 Knights of Columbus, Dumont, a National Guard Reservist, and a member of the Dumont Seniors. He enjoyed coaching Dumont youth baseball during the early to late 1970s. Perhaps most notably, in 1976, the Colonel, light years ahead of his time with the Manager of the Philmore Dudes, Bob Lachenauer persuaded the Dumont Little League to accept the first girl to play on an all boys’ team and she proved her mettle.
Finally, the Colonel will always be remembered for his welcoming smile, glad-to-see you greeting, humorous anecdotes, Yogi Berra-like commentary and for seeing the good in each and everyone he met.
Mass of Christian Burial Monday, May 6th, 9:30 AM, St. Mary’s R.C. Church, Dumont. Interment to follow at Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah. Family and friends are welcome to celebrate the Colonel’s life on Sunday, May 5th, 3-7 PM at the Frech-McKnight Funeral Home, 161 Washington Ave., Dumont; www.frechmcknight.com. As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made in John’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th Floor, NY, NY 10001; https://alzfdn.org.