Peter “Pete” Lagana, 84, of The Villages, Florida, passed away peacefully on October 10, 2022, surrounded by his loving family in their home in Fredonia, N.Y., after a brief illness.
Pete was born in Dunkirk, N.Y., on July 2, 1938, to Carmelo and Mary Lagana. He grew up on a small farm and spent his youth helping his family grow tomatoes and grapes. Pete attended Cardinal Mindszenty High School until his final year when he transferred to Dunkirk High School and graduated in 1956. Like many of his peers, Pete joined the U.S. Army Reserves and underwent basic training in 1956-57, serving as a reservist for 10 years following his honorable discharge.
He started his first full time job on the manufacturing line of True Temper in Dunkirk, N.Y., and over the next 29 years he rose to the level of shop foreman, a position he held until the factory was sold and closed. Pete was then hired as warehouse/shipping supervisor at the Red Wing food company where he worked for the next 13 years before retiring in 2000.
Pete met his sweetheart, Margaret “Marge” Abbata at a dance soon after finishing high school and set his sights on winning her heart, leading to their marriage in June 1960.
Always a hardworking man, Pete worked after hours as a carpenter/handyman, skills which ultimately led him to build his own house in Fredonia, the home he would share with Marge and their growing family for the next 60 years.
The happy couple had two children: Michele and Deborah, and three grandchildren. Family was always important to Pete, whether it was being a supportive son to his elderly parents and in-laws, a loving husband to Marge, a dedicated and caring father to his daughters, or a doting grandfather to his grandchildren.
He was also an active member of the Fredonia/ Dunkirk community, belonging to the Knights of Columbus as a parishioner of St Anthony’s Church, and a member of the Falcon, Kosciuszko, and Industrial Clubs.
At the age of 56, following a life-threatening illness, Pete underwent a liver transplant. His positive attitude and determination to live allowed him to navigate the myriad of potential complications for the next 28.5 years. After his surgery, Pete and Marge retired and became “snowbirds,” traveling to The Villages in Florida every year to escape the cold Upstate winters. They became avid golfers, enjoyed bocce and were members of several social clubs available in their area. Pete’s farming roots followed him through life as he was a skilled gardener with an impressive vegetable patch every summer.
Pete was predeceased by his parents, Carmelo and Mary Lagana; and his elder brother, Frank (Karol) Lagana of Laurel, Md.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Margaret; their children: Michele Lagana (Ian Cox) of Rochester, N.Y., and Deborah Buono of Charlotte, N.C.; and grandchildren: John Buono, Stephanie Buono and Nicholas Buono of Charlotte, N.C. Pete is also survived by his brothers and sisters: Catherine (Joe) Rizzo of Lafayette, N.Y., Pat (Bill) Hesslink of Rochester, N.Y., Mary (Bob) Kopec of Baldwinsville, N.Y., John (Sue) Lagana of Fredonia, N.Y., and George (Rita) Lagana of Rochester, N.Y.; and many nieces and nephews.
Private memorial services and a celebration of life will be held at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
For further information please visit; https:// everloved. com/ life-of/peterlagana/
Arrangements were made by the McGrawKowal Funeral Home.