Leonore (Lee) Gugliada dies at 79, taught and inspired Staten Island gardeners

January 10, 2016

January 10, 2016

Leonore (Lee) Gugliada, 79, of Lighthouse Hill, who happily shared her love of gardening and her store of knowledge and expertise about growing things with gardeners on the Island and beyond, died Friday at home.

The lifelong Staten Islander was born Leonore Van Caneghan in Dongan Hills and grew up in Grant City. She graduated from New Dorp High School.

She and Dr. Frank Gugliada were high school sweethearts, and after they wed in 1957, moved to New Dorp. They settled in Lighthouse Hill in 1969.

Mrs. Gugliada earned a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College, Manhattan.

She worked as a receptionist in her chiropractor husband’s practice for many years, and relished taking care of her family, but she also had a profound love for gardening and genealogy.

Mrs. Gugliada was extremely active in the Great Kills Garden Club, where she had held every office, from president on down. She had served as district director of the National Federation of Garden Clubs, and as a judge in the Eastern Seaboard section.

She was involved in creating gardens for the Staten Island Beautification Project, the Seton Foundation, Seaside Park and the Healing Garden in Concord.

But her biggest contribution to gardening and gardeners on the Island was her column in the Staten Island Advance — “Get Growing” — which covered everything green from houseplants to perennials to vegetable gardens to trees and shrubs and beyond, from 2007 through 2012, and helped inform and inspire gardeners throughout the borough.

Mrs. Gugliada also was very active in the Richmond County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, where she held several senior positions and was a member of the Genealogy Preservation Committee. She was a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and had traced her family ancestry to the Mayflower.

“She was extremely intelligent, creative and artistic,” said her son, Richard Gugliada. “She was patient and even-tempered, and never got angry. She was an exceptional organizer, and garden and flower shows benefited from her skills in this regard.

“But many people will remember her best as a teacher,” he continued. “She helped encourage fledgling gardeners and got them involved.”

Mrs. Gugliada was a parishioner of St. Patrick’s R.C. Church, Richmond, and a former parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Peace R.C. Church, New Dorp, and St. Ann’s R.C. Church, Dongan Hills.

Dr. Frank, her husband of 51 years, died in 2008.

Surviving, along with her son, Richard, are her son, Frank J.; her sisters, Dorrice Cremonese, Ginger Yannotta and Judy Manino, and four grandchildren.

The funeral will be Tuesday from the Colonial Funeral Home, New Dorp, with a  Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Patrick’s Church. Burial will follow in Moravian Cemetery, also New Dorp.

Originally published by Staten Island Advance