Leonard P. DeRogatis
December 15, 1946 – March 3, 2020
Leonard P. DeRogatis, 73, of Manchester, NJ, passed away at Hampton Ridge in Toms River, NJ, on March 3, 2020. Leonard has joined his wife Joyce, who predeceased him this past February 11, 2020. Born in Newark, Leonard had lived in Manchester for the past 48 years. Leonard was a self-employed sign maker. He was a loving father and devoted husband. Leonard was very artistic and was always creating things. He loved all kinds of music, enjoyed sailing and had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes.
Leonard was predeceased by his wife, Joyce. He is survived by daughter and son in-law Jill and Lee Polson, his brother; Dennis and sister in law Lorraine DeRogatis, his sister in law and her husband Yvonne and Joe Yannetta, his nephews Dennis DeRogatis, Phil LaManna, Jimmy Daniels, and Rob Yannetta, his niece Lisa Yannetta as well as his canine grandson Timmy and feline daughter Bella and many more loving family members.
Cremation was private and under the direction of Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home, Manchester, NJ.
Leonard P. DeRogatis
March 7, 2020
Dec 15, 1946 my brother Leonard was born, I remember the cute skinny little baby Mom took home from the hospital wrapped in blankets he weighed 6 ½ lbs.
I remember young Lenny always having fun playing pranks on people and then laughing at their reaction. I told him many times the day he dies laughter in this world would grow dimmer. As a teenager he got into all the usual mischief that teenagers got into he was a good kid and all of his pranks were predicated on making people laugh. I remember going into court with teenage Leonard because he was ticketed for driving his car in reverse across a bridge in Belleville to visit his girlfriend Mary, who he later married and had his daughter Jill with. When he appeared in court to face the Judge he told him he had to, his car wouldn’t drive forward so he had to drive it in reverse. He was a fun loving guy who if he liked you, you were one of the lucky ones and if he loved you he never let you down, never would leave you or walk away, he wasn’t only my brother he was my friend.
After graduating high school he tried several jobs none worked out as Lenny was his own man so he started a sign company painting paper signs in a shack in back of the Laurelton diner in Brick. That lasted only until he discovered what an electric sign was. Over the years he made large electric signs for national contracts in the tri state area becoming known by his reputation of artistry and good work. On one of my visits Lenny wanted to add a slogan to his truck to further advertise his business. My husband suggested he add the slogan “my signs mean business” and they did. Very talented guy who could build, fix or create anything, he built his signs purely with his imagination.
March 7, 2020
We shared a common bond of art and I used to ask him many question to help me in my work and he always answered the question thoughtfully. Seven months ago when he was well into his illness he called and asked if I could teach him what I do. I knew his hands had grown too shaky, but I said yes.
The last day I spent with my brother was Feb 14th My Daughter Linda my Sister Carol and I traveled to NJ from for his wife Joyce’s wake. When we got there I saw how far he had drifted into himself and I couldn’t leave him. I stayed at the hospital and tried to entertain him with all the memories we both shared. He was alert for a time and even enjoyed the therapy dog that came walking into his room to visit. It was a big dog and when he saw it he said” Oh a pony.“ That day was the only day I ever saw my brother with tears. They ran down his face and nestled into the ¼ inch stubble on his face. His eyes were sad and he couldn’t verbalize his thoughts well. I imagine he realized the end was very near. He asked me “is Momma coming? I said yes, soon. I took his hand and he squeezed mine I told him I loved him and when he sees momma again, take her hand so she can take you home.
March 3rd, 2020 I lost my brother and friend who was a large part of my life, and sadly the world has lost so much of its laughter.
Rest in peace my brother my friend,
March 4, 2020
I was thirteen years old when I first moved in across the street from Lenny in 1976. He gave me one of my first jobs which was to paint white primer on the signs he was about to paint for his customers in his sign business. Lenny was always kind and inventive and curious like a kid. Always exited to share his latest creation.
Years later when I was growing a business of my own, I was able to return the favor and hire Lenny to letter my companies trucks and make signs for our buildings. Over the years, as we added more trucks, Lenny became so familiar to our staff, that to many it felt like he was part of the company. Eventually we hired His wife Joyce to work in the office and she became a valuable asset and beloved member of our company/family as well. We will miss both of them and we hope they find each other in a better place.
I will miss Lenny , and as we all do in times like this, I am sorry we did not spend more time together. It was an honor to have him as a friend.