Cathy Leonard Klein passed away on February 3, 2013 at the age of 101. She was the wife of Arthur Klein, the second president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Artie Klein passed away on February 12, 1972. He was born and raised on the eastside of Manhattan (42nd Street). He was a student at St. Ann’s Academy (1915-1919). St. Ann’s later became Bishop Molloy High School in Queens.
Cathy and Artie met at a church dance and were married three years later in St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan. They moved to Astoria.
One day Cathy read in the newspaper that you could buy a home in Juniper Park in Middle Village for only $5 down. The rest is history and they moved into their home on 79th Street in 1938.
Artie, together with Bette White, Dr. Kenler and many other neighbors were involved in the formation of the Juniper Park Civic Association. Artie became the second President, following Dr. Kenler.
Both Cathy and Artie were actively involved with Ascension Parish (which later became Resurrection Ascension) and helped with bazaars. Cathy was active in the Rosary Society.
At this time, before World War II began, the neighbors on 78th and 79th Streets formed a social club called “The Cellar Knights.” The by-laws still exist. The neighbors met once a month in different basements. The men created musical instruments out of washboards, and used pans for drums. Many had upright pianos and harmonicas provided much entertainment. The women brought homemade food and a great time was had by all as they discussed neighborhood events.
In 1950, Theresa and Larry Camilleri moved to 79th Street, just a couple of doors away from Cathy and Artie. Both Theresa and Larry were born and raised in lower Manhattan. Larry was a World War II Vet.
Immediately, Theresa and Larry became involved with the activities of the Juniper Park Civic Association. Larry was an officer and Theresa became the recording secretary for the Juniper Berry. Theresa would walk up and down the block asking the neighbors for news. She always wrote an interesting article for 79th Street.
Theresa, Larry, Cathy and Artie became wonderful friends. The found the time to travel all around the world together.
In 1960, the news broke that a new parish was being formed and that it would be called Our Lady of Hope. Once the buildings were constructed for the school, convent and auditorium, the priests were looking for volunteers to help with the bazaar. Once again, the Camilleris and Kleins were among the many parishioners who volunteered to help with the bazaar.
In 1970, Cathy and Artie were among other parishioners to assist Father Toole to form the Golden Age Club. Cathy became very involved with the club making cancer pads for St. Rose’s Home, Baptism gowns for the newly baptized and formed workshops to do artwork, costume jewelry and other creative activities.
This group of neighbors were aware of the community spirit and always were very much involved in the Juniper Park Civic Association. This past winter we lost both Cathy Leonard Klein (February 3, 2013 and Larry Camilleri (November 3, 2012). Both lived long fruitful lives. May they rest in peace.
Photos: Arthur & Cathy Klein with children in front of their 79th St. home, 1939. Larry (left) and Theresa also lived on 79th Street. Bowling photo: left to right: Irene Schaffer, Cathy Klein, Eleanor Sikowski and Jeanne Bossi in late 1950s at Maspeth Bowl.