Marcella Marie LaGonterie
Sunrise – September 13, 1925
Sunset - January 5, 2018
Marcella Marie LaGonterie, business owner, socialite and philanthropist passed peacefully on January 5, 2018 in Amityville, New York after an extended illness.
Marcella was known for her buoyant personality and radiant smile. Blessed with an open heart and warm personality, she never met a stranger. She maintained a tremendous circle of friends. Marcella held leadership positions in many social and non-profit organizations, including President of the Barnes Historical Society in Queens for many years. Under her leadership, the Society raised money awarded as scholarships to scores of students and recognized the achievements of African-Americans from Queens, New York. In the 1960s – 70s, Marcella was an executive on the national board of the Hansel and Gretel Club. She served in leadership positions in the InterRacial InterFaith Society of Long Island. She was an active member of the Decades Social Club for more than 50 years. She also supported dozens of other charitable causes through donations, attendance and lending her expertise. Marcella was recognized and honored for her good works and business leadership by many organizations.
Marcella lived a beautiful life, nurtured by loving parents and a close extended family. Marcella was born on the 13th of September 1925 in Montclair, New Jersey, the hometown of her father, Joseph Foster Goode, Sr. While still a toddler, Marcella moved with her parents to Brooklyn, New York, which was the home town of her mother Anna Marie Goode, nee Skeete. In the early 1930s, the young family moved to Queens, New York. Her parents purchased a home in South Ozone Park; this is where Marcella came of age. She married Donald LaGonterie in 1949; they bought their home in Hollis, New York. Donald passed in 1979 leaving Marcella a young widow. She moved to Amityville in 1986 to live with her mother. Although always a “Queens Girl,” she came to love Amityville.
Marcella graduated from John Adams High School in Queens, then earned a business degree at Packard College in New York. She worked as a secretary prior to starting her family with her husband Donald. During her married life, she lent economic support to her family in a variety of industrious ways. She was a skilled dressmaker who stylishly sported her own designs and created outfits for others. She climbed the ranks from sales representative to sales manager with the Caroline Emmons jewelry company. Following the early loss of her husband, she returned to office work in Manhattan as an executive secretary with Talcott Factoring from where she retired in 1994. After the death of her parents and brother, she took over the family business, J. F. Goode Funeral Home, serving as its president. She is listed in Who’s Who of Women Executives (1989) and Who’s Who of Entrepreneurs (1999).
Marcella enjoyed high fashion and was well-known for her glamour. She was a loyal friend. Typically upbeat, she always professed to having had a great time whether it was a small church gathering or ritzy affair to which she arrived in a limousine. She loved to dance and continued to do so into her nineties. She travelled extensively throughout the world with friends and family. She reveled in entertaining her friends, and her feeling was the more friends the better. She exhausted herself gleefully throwing her spectacular annual pool party for hundreds of guests for nearly 20 years– an event any who attended will never forget! She loved her large extended family and could be counted on to always keep in touch.
Marcella was pre-deceased by her parents, Joseph and Anna Goode; her brother, Joseph F. Goode; and her husband, Donald E. LaGonterie. She leaves to mourn her son, Randall LaGonterie (Gladis); daughter, Yvette LaGonterie; grandchildren, Marie Sabini (John) and Reynard LaGonterie (Maria); great-grandchildren Andrew and Jonathan Sabini, and Brandon and Isabella LaGonterie; two step-granddaughters, Kenny and Ornella Gutierrez, as well as scores of beloved relatives and hundreds of dear friends.