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Dr. Italo Monteleone, Former Marlboro Resident and State Hospital Psychiatrist Dies at 82

Monteleone was an Italian immigrant who received his citizenship while in Marlboro.

Italo V. Monteleone, M.D. of Wilmington, DE passed away on Dec. 14 at Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care with his family by his side. 

Dr. Monteleone was born in Taranto, Italy, to the late Adolfo Villafiorita-Monteleone, a Navy officer, and the late Elvira Mancino Villafiorita-Monteleone, a professor. As the son of a Navy officer, the family moved several times in Italy, settling in Sarno, Sargedna, Pola (now Pula, Croatia), and Taranto. As a teenager during World War II, he lost his older brother Nicola and sister Latina to illness; his father was a casualty of the war.

After his father's death, the family returned to Taranto where he graduated from the Classic Lyceum. He graduated in 1956 from the University of Naples, school of Medicine and Surgery. In 1957 he married his long-time love, Cettina Vanda Orlando, after an eight-year courtship. The two immigrated to the United States later that year on a sponsorship from St. Francis Hospital in Jersey City, NJ.

Following his internship at St. Francis Hospital, Dr. Monteleone and his family moved to Marlboro, NJ, where he worked for the NJ State Hospital and specialized in Psychiatry. While in Marlboro, he and his wife became U.S. citizens in 1963. He was appointed associate professor at the Inter Disciplinary Research Center of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where he conducted research in Neuropsychopharmacology in the United State and Europe, and published medical papers with his professor, Dr. John Wittenborn, and other associates in U.S.A, Italy, and Turkey.

He later worked for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Coatesville, PA, and obtained his specialty in Neurology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He served as staff neurologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Lyon, NJ, before accepting an offer as Chief of Neurology for the Department of Mental Health for the State of Delaware in New Castle, DE. A few years later, Dr. M, as he was affectionately known by his patients and co-workers, went into private practice. He had offices in Wilmington and Dover. He became the Chief of Neurology at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, DE, was an associate at the Wilmington Medical Center, and consulted at various hospitals in Delaware. He retired from active practice at age 65.

Dr. Monteleone was an active member of St. Anthony of Padua Church, and served as the Grand Marshal in the procession for St. Anthony's Festival in the late 70s. He also was active at his daughters' high school, Padua Academy. In 1996, Dr. Monteleone was among the investees of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and became a delegate of the knighthood for the dioceses of Wilmington, until he resigned for health reason.

He loved travel and cruising and with his family. He traveled the world with his wife, visiting locations in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. He regularly returned to Italy to visit family and, when time permitted, stayed for a few months. His hobbies included traveling, sculpting landscaping, arts and crafts, and train modeling (evident in the extensive village that he built and designed around eight H.O. model trains running through his basement).

He also enjoyed working on his computer, making videos from his travel photos, creating his own greeting cards, and keeping in touch with family and friends through Skype and Facebook. He became a gourmet chef by building upon the cooking skills tha:t he picked up as a child after taking on household responsibilities when his mother returned to work after his father's death. Although nothing was too complicated to attempt, his favorite meals always revolved around pasta and a nice glass of wine.

Dr. Monteleone is survived by his wife, Cettina Vanda Orlando Villafiorita-Monteleone; two daughters, Elvira Caruso and Joanne Donnelly; his sons-in-law, Dominic Caruso and Rick Donnelly; three granddaughters, Elyse Donnelly, Erica Donnelly, and Sarah Clark (husband Jake); two great-grandchildren, Jacob and Evelyn; three brothers in Italy, Vincenzo (wife Giusi) from Genova, and Mario (wife Ave) and Adolfo (wife Marisa) from Taranto; and many cousins, in-laws, nephews, and nieces. 

In lieu of flowers, make donations to the American Cancer Society , 92 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720.

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