Funeral services have been held for Leon Critides, 90, chemical industry executive and lifelong resident of Hoboken. He passed away peacefully on July 28 at St Mary’s Hospital in Passaic. Leon grew up in Hoboken, where his family owned two restaurants and were widely respected for their hospitality and for serving many a hungry Hoboken resident. His older brother was Dr. Samuel D. Critides, only one of two neurosurgeons that served the residents of Hudson County. Leon volunteered for service in the US Navy during WWII. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1946, he utilized his GI Bill benefits to enroll in Seton Hall University, where he received his BS and Masters in chemistry.
During his scholarly pursuits, he taught chemistry at Demarest, Seton Hall Prep, University of Kansas, and Seton Hall University. Leon spent the next 30 years in various executive positions in the chemical industry, was the president of the Sales Association of the Chemical Industry, and a 50 year member of the American Chemical Society. He was a strong supporter of education and often advised family and friends that “You will only get out of school what you are willing to put into it.” Leon continued studying history and biographies throughout his life, and amassed a substantial and diverse collection of books for his library. In addition to his service in WWII, Leon was civic minded and served several terms on the Fairview Board of Education, and on the Hoboken Planning Board. He was a proud member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion and a member of the Hoboken Post.
As a first generation Greek American, he was proud of his Greek heritage and was an active supporter of St. Demetrios Church in Jersey City and the Pontian Society. In 1957, Leon married Kathleen Ann Caulfield of Hoboken and together they raised a family of four children, Mark, David, James, and Ellen in Bernardsville, before returning to Hoboken in 1984.
He and his wife spent the next three decades traveling abroad and enjoying all aspects of the revitalized Hoboken, including seeing Kathleen as the 2011 Irish Woman of the Year in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Leon was known for his grace and kindness towards fellow his citizens and local merchants while walking the streets of Hoboken, and a simple willingness to befriend others who encountered him. In addition to his wife of 60 years, Kathleen, and his four children, Leon leaves behind his cherished five Farrell grandchildren, Ciara, Katie, Connor, Sean, and Meghan, and son-in law Gabriel Farrell and daughter-in-law Donna Pezzello Critides. He is also survived by his brother Barry Critides of North Bergen, three sisters-in-laws, and 13 nieces and nephews. Services arranged by the Earl F. Bosworth Funeral Home, Hoboken.