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Levittown’s James Slattery Remembered

On Monday, Feb. 27 James A. Slattery, Jr. of Levittown was laid to rest at St. Margaret’s Cemetery in Plainview. Dozens of friends, family, and community members gathered at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home to pay their final respects over the weekend and share their memories of a man, known to many as a regular “Mr. Levittown.”

Whenever people would ask Slattery’s wife, Nancy, what her husband’s hobby was she would say, “It’s Levittown; he loves Levittown.” She said her husband began suffering from dementia about five years ago, but he never completely forgotten the memories he made and the friends he met along the way.

Slattery moved down from Massachusetts with his wife, Nancy, to accept a job in the Levittown School District in 1957 as a fifth-grade teacher at Lee Road Elementary School. He moved his growing family into their Loring Road home in 1959.

Slattery was at Lee Road for about 25 years before transferring to Abbey Lane Elementary School and then to Jonas A. Salk Middle School, and also teaching some district GED courses and tutoring. In total, Slattery taught for about 34 years in the district.

Slattery was also well known as the Boy Scouts Cubmaster of Pack #316, meeting regularly at the Levittown Community Church from about 1963 through the 1970s.  He was also a past president of the Levittown Mens’ Athletic Association (LMAABB) basketball league.

Started in about 1964, Slattery helped organized YOM Community Center (Yours Ours Mine), through grants from Nassau County, as a sort of YMCA for Levittown residents. The group met regularly at the recreation center on Center Lane, adjacent to Wisdom Lane Middle School until about 2009; YES Community Counseling Center has since taken over much of the same programming.

Slattery retired in 1991; he introduced the Levittown Historical Society as a regular field trip for the students of the Levittown School District. He was an active member of the historical society from about 1988.

He was also an Army veteran in the Korean War, and an active member in the local American Legion Post #1711, on Jerusalem Avenue. Slattery was a graduate of Hofstra University. Some regular military bridge card game players may remember Slattery as the organizer of many local games. In addition, he played softball with the Levittown Over the Hill Gang league in games at Eisenhower Park.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; and father of Neal (Terry), James (Kathryn), Thomas (Lana), Amy (Andres) and the late Brian and Christopher; and brother of Peggy and Bill. Slattery also has nine grandchildren Michelle, James, Stephen, Jennifer, Megan, James, Rebecca, Andres and Isabella.

The family is requesting any additional donations be made to Long Island Alzheimer’s Association at: http://www. alz.org or through the local chapter office at: Long Island - 45 Park Ave., Bay Shore, NY 11706, (631) 580-5100.