Longtime GOP Chair - Ambassador Joe Mondello - Passes Away
by Chris O'Neill
Joseph Mondello, the former longtime Nassau County Republican Chairman, and former US Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago passed away on August 1st at Glen Cove Hospital.
Mondello lived for many years in Levittown and Oyster Bay Cove, and recently moved to Bayville. He was 84, and his funeral mass was held on Monday, August 8th at St. Dominic's Church in Oyster Bay.
“Joe Mondello was one of the most decent and patriotic men I’ve ever known,” stated Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
The list of Mondello’s achievements in public service is long. Besides his service in Nassau County as GOP Chairman, he served as councilman and supervisor (repeated times) of the Town of Hempstead, Nassau Downs’ chairman of the board and president, chair of Gov. George Pataki’s transition team, Republican National Committeeman, and chair of the New York Republican State Committee.
As a testament to the respect he earned from both Republicans and Democrats, the pallbearers at Mondello's funeral in Oyster Bay included the Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman, the NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and the Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Cairo. His grandson, Joseph Mondello III and son-in-law, Christopher Ostuni also served as pallbearers.
Mondello served in the Air National Guard and the US Army in the 1950’s and also, at a latter period, in Naval Intelligence. In time he became a Major General in and then Deputy Commander of the NY National Guard.
Mondello felt his greatest honor, however, was serving his country as US Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Deputy Chief of Mission Cindy Diouf described him as “a man of great character and patriotism, who led by example and cared deeply about the reputation of the United States. During the Covid-19 pandemic he demonstrated courage and commitment and refused to leave his team, even as infections rose and borders closed.”
He was born in Brooklyn to a mother of Puerto Rican descent and father of Sicilian descent. He finished Hofstra University in 1962 and the New England School of Law in 1969.
Mondello is survived by his wife, the former Linda Elizabeth Crabtree, and daughters Elizabeth Mondello and Lisa Ostuni. He is predeceased by his son Joseph Mondello Jr.