Michael Leonard Galea, 70, of Laurence Harbor, passed away in his home on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He was a successful restaurateur, an active member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, and a proud Vietnam Veteran- Airman First Class, serving in the Air Force from 1969-1971. Michael was born in Zejtun, Malta, immigrating to the United States with his siblings as a young child, guided by his beloved parents. He joins them now in paradise, which he imagined to look a lot like the beautiful coasts of Malta.
Michael is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Grace (Borg) Galea and his brother John Galea. He is survived by his adored wife of 40 years, Marianne (Capo) Galea, and their loving children: Michele Galea Bertelle and husband Jack of Palenville, Rose Grace Healey and husband Brian of Staten Island, Charles Michael Galea of Staten Island, and Michael Joseph Galea and wife Jennifer (Corbisiero) of Staten Island. He is also bereaved by four cherished grandchildren: Charles John Bertelle, Grace Mirabella Bertelle, Michael Charles Healey, Gianna Denise Galea; and his siblings Horace Galea and wife Beatrice of Long Island, Victor Galea and wife Laura of Scotch Plains, and Catherine Gurrera and late husband Anthony of Long Island; as well as his mother-in-law Rose (Prologo) Capo of Keyport.
A big and loving extended family joins us now in bereavement. They include John and Eva Capo, Joseph and Patricia Capo, Roseanne and Allan Olsen, Joanne Capo, and Laura and Thomas Axelson; Michael’s nieces and nephews: Lisa and Robert, Monique and Charles, goddaughter Tracey and Christopher, Joseph and Denise, Christine and Frank, Anthony and Michelle, godson Joseph and Judy, Robert and Erin, goddaughter Jonneal and Michael, John, James, Josh, and Daniel, Jennifer and Bill, Eric and Danielle, Joseph and Jill, Peter and Laura, and Jessika, as well as his many great nieces and nephews; his cousins: Joseph and Victoria Mifsud, Annie and Connie Mifsud, Mary and Mark Piacenti and their children, Jerry Borg and late wife BettyAnn and their children, Frank and Lorraine Borg, and Lisa and late husband Michael Borg and their children.
Michael was known by his loved ones as “quite a character,” as our Nannu, our Pop, our Silly Heart, Profound Father, Mikey Bones, Chicago Mike, Mikey Tech, Hollywood Mike, Mikey Meatballs, Uncle Mike, Uncle Mikalooch, and Uncle Dooziebotz. He had a passion for creating (and eating) delicious food, having studied Hotel and Restaurant Management and operating a variety of restaurant chains over the course of his career. He was the proud owner of La Valette Catering, co-founder of Chicago’s Munch Bucket and Staten Island’s Christina’s Corner Café with his brother John, and owner-operator of Staten Island’s Meatballs Plus. After his retirement, he lived out three more of his dreams: He became an actual “character,” appearing in over forty-five television and film projects as a background actor; He traveled back to Malta in 2018 for what he called “the trip of a lifetime,” sharing the adventure with over 56 family members; and most importantly to him, he spent weeks in every summertime with his beloved grandchildren, teaching them how to fish and how to cook groove food.
No matter our age (or his), he taught us all how to be playful, reminded us all of the importance of laughter, and exemplified determination, strength, and loyalty to family. We gratefully honor him, the gift of his presence, and this enduring legacy. Relatives and friends are invited to join us on Tuesday June 1st from 2-4 PM & 7-9 PM at Day Funeral Home, 361 Maple Place in Keyport. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Wednesday June 2nd at 10 AM at St. Lawrence RC Church in Laurence Harbor. Interment will be at Calverton National Cemetery in Long Island
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