Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00
Leonard Nadel, a former East Hills mayor who presided over the village’s transformation into a showcase of the North Shore, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 25, after a long illness. He was 90 years old.
“Leonard Nadel helped modernize East Hills into the even more progressive community than it is today,” said current East Hills Mayor Michael R. Koblenz. “Through his leadership, as mayor, he was the impetus behind forming additional committees to oversee major issues like the Security Commission. He helped us to take a major step forward to creating the dynamic and vibrant community we have today. We remain grateful for his many contributions and wish the family our genuine condolences.”
“One of Len’s great contributions to the village was that he was the one who originated the security patrols when there were a lot of burglaries going on in East Hills,” said Marty Kroll, a former village attorney. “He had people from the different communities involved. This had the effect of decreasing crime by a tremendous extent and it is still in existence to this day.”
Kroll also praised Nadel’s charity work. “Len was involved in charitable work for many years and had a wonderful reputation for being a charitable person.”
Nadel served as mayor from 1987 to 1991. Prior to that he served, from 1985-1986, as a member of Planning Board. Also in 1986, Nadel was appointed to fill the unexpired term of a Board of Trustee member. Again, he only served for a year before being elected mayor on March 20, 1987. Nadel served in that capacity for four years before being defeated for re-election by Lawrence Aaronson in 1991.
Outside of politics, Nadel was a World War II veteran, serving as a Captain/Statistical Officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was also a senior vice president of Abraham & Straus department stores, based in Brooklyn.
Nadel’s political career was preceded by much volunteer work. He was chairman of the board of trustees of Adelphi University, chairman of the board of trustees of the Graduate School of Social Work at Adelphi, chairman of the board of trustees of Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, board member of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, chairman of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and president of Temple Beth Sholom in East Hills.
For his illustrious volunteer work, Nadel received two honorary doctorates.
Nadel is survived by his wife of 67 years, Rita Buckner Nadel; his children, Marilyn and her husband, Stuart and Warren and his wife, Kathy; his grandchildren, Lara and her husband Hal, Adam and his wife Dana, Sarah and Emily; and his great grandchildren, Jenna, Emma, and Ella. He is also survived by his brother Mel and his family.
The funeral was held at Temple Beth Sholom last Thursday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice by the Sea, 1531 W. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, FL 33486, in Leonard Nadel’s memory.