Services held for Edward J. Leber, 101, of Sayville, a Purple Heart recipient in WW II


Longtime Sayville resident Edward J. Leber, a World War II veteran who was injured when his fighter plane was shot during a flying mission over Western Europe in 1943 and ultimately lost most of his vision, died on Tuesday, July 27, at the Hospice House of East Northport. He was 101 years old.

The Sayville High School graduate received a Purple Heart for his bravery as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew numerous missions over Europe after enlisting in 1942.

Leber was predeceased in 1990 by his wife Mary Elizabeth, whom he had wed in 1947. The couple had four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Leber earned a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi, a master’s from Hofstra and completed post-graduate education at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology in New York City. For three decades, he served as the director of social services at the Industrial Home for the Blind in Brooklyn, providing services for people who were deaf and/or blind.

Born in Waterwitch, New Jersey, Leber eventually moved to Suffolk as a child, attending St. Mary’s School in East Islip, and then Sayville High School.

Leber was also predeceased by his grandson, Joseph, who passed away in 2019. He is survived by his children Barbara Ryan, Thomas, John, and Mary Elizabeth. Leber is also survived by his sister Theresa Zeterber; his grandchildren, Christopher, Jason, Erik, Megan, Kathryn, Matthew, Andrew, Ryan and Liam; and great-grandchildren, Kaloni, Asher and Mckayla.

Services for Leber were held Friday, July 30, at Raynor & D’Andrea Funeral Home in West Sayville and on Saturday, July 31, at St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in Sayville.