Leda Maria Giatti died peacefully on Oct. 20, 2020, at the Methodist Home in Riverdale.
Born in Somerville, Massachusetts to Elenora (Beretta) and Quinto Giatti, her family settled in Riverdale soon after.
She attended the High School for Music and Art, where she honed her artistry. This was a continuation of the Giatti/Barreta creative legacy.
After college at Mary Washington in Virginia, she attended Columbia University’s teachers college for her master’s degree. She began her career in the Mount Vernon school district in 1955, first at Hamilton Elementary School as a science teacher, and then later at Mount Vernon High School.
Leaving classroom teaching, she became a guidance counselor. She took charge of the Mount Vernon High School cheerleaders, and this “rah-rah” spirit stayed with her, cheering on her students and colleagues. She also was known to support many of her students’ extracurricular activities, attending many events from concerts to ice skating competitions.
She was a great humanist and animal lover who had many dogs over the course of her life.
She championed for LGBT, knowing that all people deserve love, and to live as they choose. She raised money for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis during the height of the AIDS epidemic, and sat by the bedsides of her dear friends while the community was being ravaged.
An arts supporter, she loved the theatre and was a regular at the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, having subscriptions to both for decades.
She was feisty and naughty. She had impeccable style and taste, with a nose for a bargain.
She was a loyal friend and will be missed.
A memorial service will be held at a time that allows for gathering.