Friday, 16 November 2012 00:00
Glen Cove lost a war hero, an academic community figure and friend on Sunday, Nov. 4, as police identified Lewis Joseph Bodi, 87, as the victim of a house fire, which police said a kerosene lamp likely caused.
The first American-born child of Hungarian immigrant parents, Bodi was born in 1924 in Racine, Wisconsin. Originally named Lazlo, he was given the name Lewis by his kindergarten teacher, which he kept for life.
He served in the Navy in World War II and attended De Pauw University on the GI Bill, where he met his wife of 62 years, Sara Frances Lord. He earned a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and moved his growing family to Brooklyn and then Long Island, where he worked as a chemistry professor at Brooklyn College, and then did research in electroluminescence at GTE Sylvania, which at that time was located in Bayside. In 1965, the family moved from Bethpage to Glen Cove where he and his wife resided until his death.
At York College-CUNY, Bodi helped to develop the school into a permanent institution, now located in Jamaica, Queens. He served there as dean of the science department, vice president of academic affairs, and retired as provost. His retirement was spent in support of his growing family of grandchildren.
Bodi is survived by his wife Sara Lord Bodi, the former chief psychologist of Glen Cove schools; son Kip Bodi, and daughters Sari Bodi, Betsy Bodi Thomas, and Nancy Bodi-Hurley. Also surviving him are 11 grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.
A wake took place on Friday, Nov. 9 at McLaughlin Kramer Megiel Funeral Home in Glen Cove, NY. The funeral service was held Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. at McLaughlin Kramer Megiel Funeral Home. Lewis was laid to rest at Locust Valley Cemetery, Ryefield Road, in Locust Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to York College (https://giving.york.cuny.edu).