Michael Edward LaBianca

Fort Myers, Fla.

Michael Edward LaBianca (Mike) died peacefully surrounded by the family he loved on Feb. 10, 2020, in Fort Myers, Fla. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Dora and Lorenzo LaBianca, on Dec. 2, 1936. Childhood friends remained his most cherished pals for life.

Survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Michele Susan LaBianca, and sisters Anne Zucchero and Joan Purcell; children Lawrence and wife, Celine; Michael and wife, Margaret (and their three children Claudia, Frances, and Elizabeth); Nicole and husband, Richard Iannuzzi (and their three children Michael, Sophia and Isabell); daughter Dorrie and husband, Tony Simone; as well as his omnipresent canine buddy, Austin. Mike was predeceased by his parents, Lorenzo and Dora, and sister Fanny.

Mike was the first of his family to graduate college. He received a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s and a master’s degree from NYU. Mike loved sports and was an athlete his entire life. He was a multiple Fulbright scholar, spending a year teaching in Stratford-Upon-Avon with his young family (daughter Nicole was born there) and later studying in Africa. He dedicated himself to his profession of teaching, serving 30 years in the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District, where he connected with staff and students alike, as evidenced by the many friends from both groups he continued to be friends with to the end.

Mike had a profound effect on people, and he was much loved. To be within his orbit was to live life larger because of him. He embraced what he did with a passion, a wonder and love of people and experiences that he inherited from his father, Lorenzo LaBianca. He believed in himself and was a fighter through and through to the end.

Mike retired at 55 and dedicated his time to supporting the entrepreneurial pursuits of Michele, a Bar Harbor-based business venture that served the two of them well into their retirement, and provided opportunities for employment, experiences, growth and fun for the extended family, including many of the grandchildren who flourished under his watchful eye.
Mike was a lifelong fisherman and skier, loves that he enjoyed and shared with his family and friends. He instilled in his children a love of adventure and the confidence that anything was possible. He provided support in a unique way to each of his grandchildren, and his kindness and love of them has enriched their lives.

He had a story for every situation, and never tired of telling them. He had a way of coloring stories that made you enjoy them, no matter how many times you’d heard them. He lived his life so full, if he didn’t tell the stories of his experiences he’d surely burst. We are all blessed to have shared in the experience of life with Pops.

A service will be held later this year on Mount Desert Island, where Mike and Michele spent their summers, and later as much time as they cared to (but never enough); where they let their children thrive in the salt air, built numerous businesses and forged lifelong friendships. Mike loved Maine.

Know when to pay your respects.