Lynbrook resident Prospero Sodano, the executive director of the New York headquarters for the Disabled American Veterans, died on Oct. 24 after an extended hospitalization. He was 89.
Sodano was named Recruiter of the Year by the DAV in 2008 as the organization recognized him as an outstanding recruiter whose efforts are to ensure that the organization’s legacy of hope extends to current and future veterans who will rely on its mission of service and advocacy.
A disabled veteran of the Cold War, Sodano was presented the award by National Commander Robert T. Reynolds at the 87th National Convention of the DAV and DAV Auxiliary at Bally’s Hotel Las Vegas. Sodano served in the U.S. Army from June 13, 1947, to July 27, 1948, and was stationed in Berlin, Germany.
Sodano recruited 149 disabled veterans into the Department of New York in 2008. He recruited about 5,000 members over his 63-year affiliation with the DAV and was the organization’s all-time leading recruiter. He was a life member of DAV Chapter 118 in Glendale, New York, where he served as the Adjutant for many years.
He regularly attended conventions in New York and nationally. Besides serving as his chapter’s adjutant, Prospero was elected to the National Executive Committee, the governing body of the National DAV organization, in 1998.
Sodano served as assistant adjutant for the Department of New York DAV for many years until being named executive director of department headquarters in 2003. As executive director, he was responsible for overseeing operations at the Lynbrook headquarters, including preparing and getting out numerous mailings, organizing the annual dinner dance and boat ride and the department’s convention.
Sodano’s viewing was held at Perry Funeral Home in Lynbrook on Oct. 29, and his Interment was at Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River on Oct. 30. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Department of New York DAV, 162 Atlantic Ave., Lynbrook, N.Y. 11563 and expressions of sympathy may be sent to Jean Santavasco, 5110 Avenue S, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11234.