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Janet Abel Leonelli

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“My sympathy is late in timing, but I know you are still grieving this great loss, and so I do extend my deepest sympathy to all of the family. I...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Jill Blythe ( Appelbergh) - PA

“Cynthia... what can I say that will take away the sting of losing your Mom? Wish I had a chance to meet her. Hope my prayers helped in some way to...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Dave Bakke - San Jose, CA

“Dear Abel Family,I was on the phone with my mom just now-and she said, "I am thinking of Janet Abel all week-i wonder if she is alive." What is her...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Deirdre Murphy Virvo - stamford, CT

“ToThe Family of Janet Abel Leonelli, Our sincere condolences on the loss of your Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Aunt, Sister in Law. May she...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Doris COSTA - SHIRLEY, NY

“ToThe Family of Janet Abel Leonelli, Our sincere condolences on the loss of your Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Aunt, Sister in Law. May she...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Doris COSTA - SHIRLEY, NY

“I have great memories of going to your house in Yonkers with Sue. Your mom & Dad made me feel so welcome. I remember delicious food and Cleo the dog...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Debbie McAllister - Palm Coast, FL

“My love and prayers and deepest condolences to all the family. Your mother is very dear to my heart as are you all. I have so many lovely memories of...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Kathy (KK) Dittus - Ave Maria, FL

“I am so grateful for our meeting! I just know you're dancing up a storm in heaven. You are beautiful through and through and will be greatly missed ...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Jessica Speziale - Millbrook, NY


Janet Abel Leonelli of Yonkers, NY, passed away on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at the age of 83. She was born in the Bronx on December 24, 1935, the daughter of Felix and America (née Vila) Lozada.

Janet is survived by her children Edward Abel, JoAnn Gould, Cynthia Smith, Denise Abel, and Melanie Borchetta, 15 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son Stephan, first husband Edward R. Abel, second husband Armando "Henry" Leonelli, brother Felix "Phil" Lozada, grandson Tony Allan Smith Jr., son-in-law Bill Gould, and her parents.

One of Janet's defining qualities was her work ethic; she was always on the move. Widowed for the second time when only in her 40s, she often worked multiple jobs, sometimes 3 at once, to support her family. These jobs ranged from catering, waitressing, film development, and postal work, to serving as a registrar at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital and owning her own cleaning business. One may also say that taking in "strays" (whether human or animal) was another of Janet's occupations, willingly or unwillingly.

Janet was a consummate entertainer—she never needed an excuse to throw a party to bring family and friends together. She loved music and to slide across the dance floor. She also loved to cook, and would often cook most of the food for her parties herself. "Why waste the money? We can do it," she would say. It was rare when someone visited Janet's home that there wasn't something on the stove or in the oven, and she would frequently meet her daughters at gas stations to hand off a week's worth of dinners, or greet her granddaughter with her favorite soup when she came home from college.

As a young child, Janet attended a Catholic boarding school and was raised by nuns. This helped to shape Janet as a woman of strong faith who took pride in her home and her surroundings. She built many lasting friendships, some of which lasted more than 70 years. She encouraged her daughters and granddaughters to be strong, independent women, and was a stickler for promoting education. She also would never hesitate to say what was on her mind, unfiltered. Janet also enjoyed games, like Scrabble, Phase 10, and Screw Your Neighbor, among many others, and was a great writer, often drafting beautiful letters and poems to family.

Traditions were also something Janet treasured. Christmas traditions, in particular, were kept religiously by Janet every year. Christmas was Janet's absolute favorite time of year, as her whole family came together to celebrate both the holiday and her birthday.

Above all, Janet would say her greatest accomplishment was her family. Despite her strict parenting style, Janet was always the "coolest mom on the block" and a devoted mother to her children; she loved her family beyond measure. Truly, Janet was the glue that held her family together.

A memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, February 2 from 11–1 PM at the Joseph J. Smith Funeral Home in Mahopac, NY. Following visitation, a Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:30 PM at Our Lady Queen of Angels Chapel at St. John the Evangelist Church, also in Mahopac.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in her name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (www.stjude.org), Salesian Missions (www.salesianmissions.org), or a charity of your choice.

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Private Cremation Held Prior to Services