Charles Lacina

Mount Vernon, Westchester County, New York, USA
Death 21 Jun 2007 (aged 84–85)
Burial Hawthorne, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 141857023 · View Source
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Obituary taken from The City Island Current

Longtime Islander Charles (Charlie) Lacina passed away on June 21, 2007. He was 85 years old. Charlie was born in Mt. Vernon, New York, but his family moved to the Locust Point section of the Bronx when he was very young. Charlie became an All-City basketball player at James Monroe High School. Recruited by many colleges, he accepted a basketball scholarship from St. John’s University. He always said that once he met St. John’s legendary coach Joe Lapchick, he knew he had to play for St. John’s. Coach Lapchick took Charlie under his wing, regularly
driving his young star home after practice. During his freshman year in 1941, Charlie was the second leading scorer on his team. The following two seasons would see St. John’s win consecutive National Invitation Tournaments (NIT). Charlie, however, was not destined to be part of those squads. At the conclusion of the school year, he left college to enlist in the United States Army. Following basic training, Charlie was accepted into Officer’s Candidate School. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1943. Charlie served his nation on many islands throughout the Pacific Theater during
WWII. He initially was assigned to the Corps of Engineers, and later became a supply officer. While on leave in November of
1944, he married his sweetheart, Elizabeth (Bette) Clavin. Bette also served her country during the war as a member of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps. After the war, Coach Lapchick encouraged Charlie to return to St. John’s. Charlie,
however, made the decision not to return to college and he began a career as a professional basketball player. He played for both the Troy Celtics and the Scranton Miners in the American Basketball League. Charlie retired from professional basketball to join the New York City Police Department. Within a few years, Charlie’s work was recognized and he was elevated
to the detective bureau. Over the years, he served as one of New York’s finest at several precincts, including the 41st precinct in the Bronx. Charlie worked on many important investigations during his career, including several involving organized crime syndicates. He was promoted to Detective First Grade and in the 1960s he headed up the city’s security detail for Senator Robert Kennedy. He retired from the police department to accept a position as a security officer for the
U.S. Department of Defense where he monitored security at several national defense facilities. He later moved to the Federal Aviation Administration, where he spent the remainder of his career. He retired in 1986. Charlie moved to Buckley Street in 1961. With his wife, he raised his two sons on City
Island. A devoted husband and father, he also found time to teach basketball to many boys, and coached several teams at St. Mary, Star of the Sea. Charlie loved swimming, boating and fishing. He was a founding and lifetime member of the Locust Point Yacht Club, where he frequently could be found working on one of the boats he owned over the years – all of which were named after his wife Bette.
Charlie is survived by his wife of 63 years; his sons and their spouses, and by five grandchildren. Charlie was interred in Gates of Heaven Cemetery following a funeral mass at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Church on June 25, 2007.

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  • Created by: Teacher Sleuth
  • Added: 27 Jan 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 141857023
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Lacina (1922–21 Jun 2007), Find a Grave Memorial no. 141857023, citing Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Teacher Sleuth (contributor 48429267) .