SARATOGA SPRINGS — John Abate, 92, passed away peacefully at Saratoga Hospital on April 1, due to complications associated with pneumonia. He joins his adored wife of 58 years, Peggy, who passed away in in 2004.
He was born in 1922 on 57th Street in Manhattan (Hell’s Kitchen) to Robert and Sarah (nee Guinan) Abate as the fifth child following his siblings Frank, Millie, May and Helen.
Sometime after his father passed away in 1927, his mother, Sadie, moved the family “upstate,” by her account, to the High Bridge section of the Bronx where John spent the following years as a typical teen, playing sports, following Big Band music, and the like.
It was at Sacred Heart Church where John met his future bride, Peggy, and after a brief stint in the Coast Guard they were wed on August 9, 1946.
Just prior to that time, a neighborhood friend convinced him to consider his hand at four-wall handball, which resulted in an athletic membership to the Nassau Boat club where he rowed crew for the opportunity to use its handball facilities. Hard work and training allowed John to win the National Junior AAU handball title in 1946. That title earned him a long look from the New York Athletic Club and an eventual athletic membership and berth on the Killers Club Team. He won three national handball titles during his tenure at the NYAC and actively played bi-weekly until his retirement from the New York Life Insurance Company.
Prior to retirement John and Peggy lived in Stuyvesant Town, Dumont, New Jersey, and Blauvelt, where they raised their four children. John was active in coaching Little League baseball for many years and served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Catharine's Roman Catholic Church.
During retirement, John and Peggy resided in Sicklerville, New Jersey, Vero Beach, Florida and Saratoga Springs. They led active lives with many friends, entertained with visits and card games, while John actively pursued playing tennis.
John is survived by his adoring children, Tom, Joan, Brian and Sean, their spouses, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and two more great-grandchildren to join us soon.
Online remembrances may be made at burkefuneralhome.com.