It is with deep sadness that the family of Armand Anthony Assante, Sr. announces his passing on August 25, 2017.
Born to Elizabeth di Giovanni and Aniello Armand on August 5, 1922 in Rye, New York, Armand was raised in Washington Heights, New York with his large Italian family. He was, in his youth, a prodigious artist who excelled masterfully in drawing, painting and draftsmanship. By his teens he had caught the attention of artists such as Norman Rockwell and the German post-impressionist painter, Hubert Landau, who became his teacher and mentor.
In 1942, Armand joined the United States Marine Corps and throughout World War II was with the First Infantry Division, Pacific Theater. In March 1945, in Iwo Jima, a telephone pole crushed his foot and he was diverted to the Island of Le Jima (Le Shima) while his unit went on to endure numerous combat deaths during the battle of Okinawa, including the noted war correspondent, Ernie Pyle. Before leaving the Marines at the war’s end, Armand was assigned to Tsing Tao, China where he worked as a telephone lineman for the base. While there, he made many beautiful drawings of the people living in the rural villages.
After the war he married Katharine Healy, a pianist and music teacher, on June 28, 1947. The young couple lived in Washington Heights with their first two children until 1957, when Ralph Ogden, Sr. of Star Expansion Industries in Mountainville, New York, invited Armand to become the Senior Advertising Executive for his company. The Assantes moved to Mountainville that year, and their third child was born in 1959.
Armand was an often celebrated artist both in New York and in the Hudson Valley, exhibiting most recently at the Karpeles Gallery in Newburgh. His work has been shown at the Benedetti Gallery in SOHO in Manhattan, Eisenhower Hall at West Point and the Lyceum Theater in Sugar Loaf, among others. His work has been represented by SPQR Fine Art.
Armand and Katharine Assante frequently received recognition for their love of and contribution to the arts. Katharine was celebrated for her poetry readings and for her inspired work as a piano and music teacher, both publicly and privately. Despite a tragic bout with polio in 1949, Katharine became the first person outside of New York City to win the right to become a teacher in the public school system in New York State.
The couple was married for 64 years. Katharine died on June 29, 2011. Armand is survived by his three children, Denise Assante and her husband Carey Gross, actor Armand Assante and Andrea Assante; grandchildren, Anya Assante and Alesandra Assante; brother, Dino Assante and his wife Jacqueline; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister, Lenore; and his brothers, Elmo, Raymond, Ronnie and Edmund; and their spouses.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of: Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties; Orange Regional Medical Center (Acute and Rehab Units); Valley View Center in Goshen, NY; Willcare; and the Goshen and Castle Point Campuses of the VA Healthcare System.
Special thanks to Doctors: Vinay Das, Vincent Gulfo, John Ferguson, Stephen Lazar and Elizabeth Zick for their care and concern. Contributions may be made to Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, Orange Regional Medical Center, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are entrusted to Quigley Bros. Funeral Home; to send condolences please go to www.Quigleybros.com