Raymond “Poppi” Agoglia Sr passed away at home in Rockaway Beach on March 11th, 2023 at almost ninety-two years old.
Poppi was born on May 12th, 1931 in Park Slope, Brooklyn to Vincent and Rose Agoglia. He was the second youngest of eleven children. In 1952, Poppi married Frances Lechtanski. They were married for 44 beautiful years.
Ray and Franya (Frances) raised four children- Raymond Agoglia Jr, Robert Agoglia (d.1963), Arlene Jordan and James Agoglia - on East 8th street in Brooklyn before moving to Belle Harbor in 1989 to be closer to family. Poppi loved his family more than anything. He is survived by three children, ten grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.
Always a Brooklynite at heart, even once he moved to Rockaway, Poppi drove back to the old neighborhood to get the best deals on the biggest artichokes and bags of grated cheese that he delivered to each of his kids' homes with a toot of his car horn, blasting Frank Sinatra, the scent of his cigar filling the street through the open window.
Poppi graduated from NYU in 1952 and became a math teacher. He taught at Montauk Junior High School, became the Assistant Principal of McKinley Junior High School and finished his career as a teacher and chair of the Xaverian High School math department. He had a passion for teaching. For many years in a row, Poppi won the student choice award for best math teacher.
Poppi famously tutored hundreds of kids, getting even the most hopeless cases through algebra, geometry and trigonometry. He made every kid feel like they could succeed, telling jokes and bringing their attention back to the work with his famous line, “Okay! Back at the ranch,” and pointing to the next math problem. When kids would take a random guess at an answer, they always knew to try another answer when he looked skyward and said, “the baby’s sleeping! The baby’s sleeping!”
Everywhere he went, Poppi brought people together. At St. Brendan’s in Brooklyn, he chaired the famous Bazaar. At the CYO pool club in Coney Island, he threw endless barbecues and parties. At Brodie Mountain in Massachusetts, he brought dozens of families and friends together for skiing, New Year Eve parties and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. You could always find Poppi on the deck of the upper lodge smoking a cigar and getting a little suntan. He was so legendary at Brodie; he even had his own parking spot. At Sunday family dinners, we could always count on him to bring out a few decks of cards to play Pinochle and Gin Rummy.
Poppi loved home movies, holding court at the beach, watching his grandkids play baseball, Broadway musical soundtracks, the Yankees, and visiting the bakery on Avenue O for jelly donuts on his way home from church. He made huge pots of sauce and cooked “red soup” and manicotti for family dinners at his house. He loved to travel and take his family on vacations. He always found ways to create adventures at home and on amazing trips to Point Sebago, Puerto Rico, Disney World and Washington, D.C. He spent many summers teaching at Miami University and San Diego University,
taking his family along on these one-of-a-kind adventures.
Poppi is famous for being a great entertainer. He could hold the attention of a room with his charismatic delivery and incredible jokes. Poppi knew how to break the ice and make people feel comfortable. He had a joke or a riddle ready for everyone he came across, whether it be his granddaughter’s new boyfriend or the waiters on the latest family cruise trip.
Poppi will be so deeply missed. May he find all of his buddies waiting to greet him with open arms. May it always be sunny and warm, with a great card game and cigar around a pool in heaven. We hope Poppi is up there doing the Macarena and the Polka with his wife Franya, his best friend Uncle Bobby, Cioci Riccia, and Cioci Junie. Until we meet again, we will honor the incredible love and legacy Poppi left on earth. Poppi, to know you is to love you. It was an honor and a privilege to have you as our Grandfather. Twas heaven here with you.
Wake service will begin on Thursday March 16, 2023 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM and continue on Friday March 17, 2023 from 2:00 to 5:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Marine Park Funeral Home. 3024 Quentin Road Brooklyn, NY 11234, 718-339-8900.
Funeral mass will be on Saturday March 18, 2023 at 10:30 AM at St. Francis De Sales Roman Catholic Church.129-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard Belle Harbor, NY 11694.
Committal service will immediately follow to Holy Cross Cemetery. 3620 Tilden Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11203.
In lieu of flowers Ray "Poppi" Agoglia was an educator. Please help the math department at our parish school St. Francis De Sales Academy by clicking the link provided, https://stfrancisacademybh.org/donate