Volume 76, Number 18 | September 20 - 26, 2006


Letizia Brod, 90, professor from a prominent family

By Albert Amateau

Letizia Brod, a retired professor of Italian language and literature at Hofstra University and a Village resident for more than 40 years, died Sept. 4 at her home on Sullivan St. at the age of 90

She had cardiovascular problems and was in the Cabrini Hospice program when she died, according to her son, Victor.

Active in parish affairs at St. Anthony of Padua Church on Sullivan St., she was also a loyal supporter of the Washington Square Music Festival.

“She was the mayor of Sullivan St.,” said her daughter, Patricia Oshiro.

Born to a prominent family in Bagheria, a town near Palermo, Sicily, Letizia was the daughter of Giacomo and Gaetana Scaduto. Her father was a lawyer, an uncle was rector of the University of Palermo and a grandfather was mayor of Bagheria.

She went to school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Rome and then attended the University of Palermo, where she earned a law degree. In Bagheria, she met her husband to be, Captain Mario Brod, a U.S. Army intelligence officer who took part in the invasions of North Africa and Sicily during World War II. They were married in 1943 and lived in Sicily and in Rome, where their son and daughter were born, until 1952 when the family came to the U.S.

They settled in the Village and Letizia earned a master’s degree at New York University. Mario Brod, a case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, died in 1980.

Letizia Brod taught at Hofstra until she retired about 20 years ago and later lectured at the New School.

“She was intelligent, very funny and she didn’t care who she offended,” said Peggy Friedman, executive director of the Washington Square Music Festival and a longtime friend. “She told fascinating stories about being raised in a palazzo in Sicily. She was a unique person,” Friedman said.

Perazzo Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. In addition to her son, of Washington, D.C., and her daughter, of California, a granddaughter survives. The funeral was Sept. 8 at St. Joseph’s Church.

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