Mr. Mario Buonpane was a tireless advocate for fellow veterans who will forever be remembered as a pillar in the Huntington community. He taught all he came into contact with the meaning of hard work, trust and honor. Drafted into the United States Army, Mr. Buonpane served as a Technical Specialist with the first mobile guided missile crew that helped protect Western Europe during the Korean War.
Following an honorable discharge, Mr. Buonpane graduated from Long Island University with a degree in electrical engineering and his Master’s degree in Business Administration, before beginning a career at Grumman Corporation. At Grumman, he worked on the historic Lunar Module segment of the Apollo space program before retiring in the late 1990s.
Locally, Mr. Buonpane joined American Legion Post 694 in Northport in 1978 and served in several leadership positions, including Post Commander and on the Board of Directors. During this service, he led the restoration of the Northport VA Hospital Golf Course. Funds generated from the Course help wounded veterans with their medical expenses.
To enhance the lives of Town of Huntington veterans, he was a founding member of the Town’s Veterans Advisory Board and served as chairman from 1993 until his passing. In this role, he helped create Veteran’s Plaza to honor his belief that military service is a significant sacrifice and that those who serve should be honored.
Personally, Mr. Buonpane successfully trained to run and complete the Great Cow Harbor 10 kilometer race and the New York City Marathon.
While his dedication to his community is inspiring, his commitment to his family is his true legacy. He and his wife of 58 years, Beatrice, are the parents of Karen, Nancy and Mark, and at the time of his passing, two grandchildren.