OUR 2019 PARADE HONOREES
U. S. Merchant Marine Academy Superintendent
Rear Admiral Jack Buono
Prior to his appointment as Superintendent, Rear Admiral (RADM) Buono served as President and CEO of SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., an ExxonMobil marine subsidiary headquartered in Houston, Texas. He chaired the Board of International Marine Transportation Limited, an ExxonMobil subsidiary in Great Britain, and chaired the ExxonMobil Global Marine Center providing operations guidance to ExxonMobil affiliates worldwide.
RADM Buono is a 1978 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). Upon graduation, he joined the Marine Department of Exxon Company USA, a predecessor organization of SeaRiver Maritime, Inc. Between 1978 and 1986 he served as deck officer aboard various sized crude and chemical tankers before being promoted to Master Mariner. In 1991, Buono transferred ashore where he progressed through the management ranks before retiring as President and CEO of SeaRiver Maritime in 2016. Simultaneously with his graduation, Buono was commissioned into the United States Navy Reserve where he served for eleven years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant.
He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Coast Guard Foundation and has previously served on the Board of Trustees at the Webb Institute, as Vice Chairman of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum, on the Board of Advisors with the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, as Chairman of the North America Region of the American Bureau of Shipping, and on the Board of Advisors for the Global Maritime and Transportation School at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
In addition to having earned a U. S. Coast Guard License as Master, Steam and Motor Vessels of Any Gross Tons Upon Oceans, Buono has received awards and citations including the USMMA Meritorious Service and Outstanding Professional Achievement Awards, the Seafarers International House 2017 Honoree Award, the Seamen’s Church Institute 2016 Safety Leader Award, and the North America Marine Environmental Protection Association 2016 Environmental Leader Award. He was also listed among the Top One Hundred Most Influential People in Shipping 2012–2015 by Lloyd’s List.
MAN OF THE YEAR
American Legion Post # 103 Commander
Bayside Hills resident Sebastian D'Agostino was born Sebastiano D'Agostino in Flushing, NY in September of 1938. In January of 1959, the 20-year old was drafted and received basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After passing tests to drive various military wheeled vehicles, he was sent to Fort Lee, Virginia for a four-week advanced training program as a Supply Specialist.
Sebastian was shipped out to South Korea in 1959 where as a Private First Class in First Army Quartermaster Corps, he ran a supply room under the direction of a supply sergeant. He also transported supplies throughout South Korea, sometimes driving, sometimes travelling with a Korean chauffeur.
Due to his excellent physical conditioning, Sebastian earned a black belt in Judo while in Korea. This came in handy when he inadvertently ventured into the Korean demilitarized zone and took a picture. As a North Korean guard moved to confiscate his property, he resisted and nearly precipitated an international incident. "But I kept my camera," he recalls with a smile.
In 1960, Sebastian returned to Fort Dix as part of the training cadre, instructing recruits in the use and cleaning of the M-1 rifle and throwing the hand grenade, with the rank of Specialist 4th Class. He moved up to Company Armorer and ran a weapons room.
Turning down a promotion to Sergeant (E5), Sebastian opted to attend Queens College, and train men for the NYPD and FDNY entry tests. He was in the Army Reserve until his discharge in 1964 when he married. He is the proud father of four and grandfather of eight.
Sebastian has been a member of the American Legion since 2000. He is also a Past Treasurer and Board Member of both the Whitestone Rifle & Pistol Club and the Bayside Hills Civic Association, where he is their liaison with the Department of Parks. He maintains the World War II memorial in the Bell Boulevard Mall.
In addition to being a Director of the Parade Association, Sebastian is involved in two antique car clubs, and operates D'Agostino Property Development, LLC. He also acts as property manager for Post #103 which occupies a reclaimed firehouse on 235th Street in Douglaston.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Little Neck resident and Parade Stalwart
Mary (Marie) Stock
Born and raised in the south Bronx, Mary (Marie) Stock was the daughter of proud Irish immigrants, James and Mary Hayes. She graduated from Cathedral High School in 1950 and from Paine Hall for Medical Assistants in 1952, then worked at Met Life as a lab technician until 1955.
Marie met Joseph (Joe) Stock in the Catskills in 1952, not long after he had completed his commitment to United States Marine Corps. They married in 1954; a year after Joe joined the NYPD in 1953.
After living in Sunnyside, where their two sons, Joe Jr. and Jimmy, were born, and Hollis, where third son, Michael was born, they bought their home in Little Neck in 1962. Their only daughter, Mary and another son, John were born soon after. They still live in the same house 57 years later.
Though Marie held numerous part-time jobs while raising her children, her career was at Home Federal Savings Bank, where she started as a teller in 1976. After performing several roles at the bank, she was promoted to Assistant Branch Manager.
Marie became a licensed Annuity Sales representative and one of the top salespersons for the company. Most importantly, she helped numerous people from the LN/D community get control of their finances, offering sound advice in a caring and honest way until she retired in 1998.
Her involvement with the parade began in the mid1970s, when Joe was asked by community activist Fran Carroll to help in reinvigorating the Memorial Day Parade up and running for the 1976 American Bicentennial, after numerous years of sparse participation. With their shared, great love of country and community, Marie and Joe jumped at the opportunity.
Their work, along will several other dedicated volunteers, provided s strong foundation for what the parade has become today – a source of pride for Little Neck and Douglaston.
A 25-year member of the Little Neck–Douglaston Lions club and former Lion of the Year, Marie is a Eucharistic Minister at St. Anastasia Church and a member of their Leisure Club. She and Joe will soon return from their annual hibernation in Florida to celebrate their 65th anniversary and, “enjoy the BEST Memorial Day Parade in America.”
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Rotary Club of Flushing, NY
The Rotary Club of Flushing, NY was chartered by Rotary International, whose motto is, "Service Above Self," in 1953. This group of local business people performed a major good work by securing a new transportation van
for Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, so that families of gravely ill hospital patients who seek shelter at Ronald Mc Donald House have a ready means of visiting their loved ones. The van will be in this year's parade and the Rotarians will make the official presentation of the keys to the van at the reviewing stand.
U.S. Navy Lieutenant
Father Mark C. Bristol
Lieutenant Father Mark C. Bristol is a native of Brooklyn. After completing High School in 2002, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an Information Systems Technician. In 2007, he decided to leave the active naval forces while remaining in the Naval Reserves, to pursue a vocation to the priesthood.
In 2009, Bristol’s studies were interrupted due to a military deployment to the Horn of Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Navy recognized his hard work and dedication both on and off duty in Africa by selecting him to be the 2009 Navy Reserve’s Sailor of the Year. Upon his return, Father Bristol completed his undergraduate studies at Franciscan University of Steubenville Ohio and was commissioned as a Naval Officer in the Navy Chaplain Candidacy Program.
After completing his graduate level studies in theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, Frather Bristol was ordained a Roman Catholic priest at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn, on June 4, 2016.
Father Bristol is currently the parochial vicar of St. Anastasia Parish here in Douglaston, where he ministers to a diverse growing Little Neck-Douglaston community and the Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, that educates over 400 students (Kindergarten through 8th grade). He serves the larger community as the chaplain of American Legion Post #103, Catholic War Veterans Post #1773 in Bayside, and a is third-degree knight in the Knights of Columbus Council #2345 in Floral Park.
He enjoys singing, traveling and laughing -- and seeks to live a life of service to God and his country Father Bristol will to return to active duty military service on July 2, 2019 to serve in the United States Navy as a military chaplain.
Army Vietnam Veteran, Post 103 Vice-Commander
Queens native Tom Dinegar was born in Flushing and raised in Bayside, the second of nine children, where he graduated from Bayside High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in October of 1973 and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He then went on the Quartermaster school at Fort Lee in Virginia. Tom was assigned to the 317th Combat Engineer Battalion.
Tom served with the 317th at their headquarters in Camp Eschborn near Frankfurt Germany from January 1974 through October 1976. He worked as motor pool clerk as a Spec-4. Throughout the Cold War, the Battalion provided combat engineer support to the Army, and enjoyed a close partnership with a German engineer battalion, and performed civic action missions throughout the European Theater.
Upon his discharge from the service, Tom joined the New York State Court Officers and was assigned to Manhattan Criminal Court. He worked in Judicial Protection, assigned to two presiding NYS Chief Administrative judges. He was promoted to Appellate Court Clerk in the Appellate Court First Department in the Office of Character and Fitness. After 32 years with the NYS Courts, Tom retired as a Principal Appellate Court Clerk.
Tom has been a member of the American Legion since his discharge from the army and currently serves as Vice Commander of Post 103 and on the Queens County Committee. He also serves on the Veterans Advisory Committee for Congressman Tom Suozzi and as Veteran Coordinator for the Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade.
Tom married his wife Karen in 1990 and they moved to Little Neck a year later where they raised three children, all of whom marched in the Parade and have worked as parade volunteers at one time or another helping to make this neighborhood tradition the great success it is every year.
Former U.S. Marine
Stu Jensen is a proud first-generation American, and a great example of the “melting pot,” thanks to his having a Peruvian mother and Danish father. He grew up in the Bayside area, where he attended Sacred Heart Grammar School and Bayside High School, after which he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
During his five years in the Corps, Stu was stationed in Little Creek, Virginia and Culebra, Puerto Rico, where he trained in naval gunfire, and communications with 2nd Marine Division. After his stateside training, Stu’s was shipped out for Embassy guard duty in Kabul, Afghanistan and then to Israel in 1963, where he served at the American Consulate General, as the U.S. Embassy in Israel was domiciled in Tel Aviv at the time.
Stu attended Saint Francis College in Brooklyn and later went to the Dartmouth Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management in Hanover, New Hampshire under an employer-sponsorship. Over a 40 year banking career, he worked for Bankers Trust Company and Irving Trust Company (named from American author Washington Irving).
Stu held positions as Vice President for Commercial Lending and as a Loan Portfolio Manager in Asset Based Lending. Stu’s specialty included leveraged financing for corporations planning to “spin off” subsidiary companies.
During his assignment of Afghanistan, Stu became friends with an American civilian on assignment with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Eight years later, in Manhattan, that civilian and his wife introduced him to a “very nice German-born lady,” named Luise.
Four months later, on June 1, 1971, Stu “married that very nice lady and we’re still going strong.” Stu has been a Douglaston resident for more than 40 years and is a 20-year member of American Legion Post 103.
Escapee from Soviet aggression, Army veteran
Jeff and his family fled their native Hungary about the time the old Soviet Union was crushing self-government in the former satellite state.