Theresa Lato of The Bronx, NY, and Holon, Israel. February 17, 1912 – March 16, 2010

March 19th, 2010 Posted in Front Page News, Membership Committee

We received this email this morning.  Theresa Lato was a hero for the Bronx and the environment.  She was a relentless fighter to get things done by getting the right people together.  She started the Environmental Focus, which we continue to this day.  I will never forget the morning on February 7, 1981 when she called me and asked if I was coming to the annual meeting at Gillet Hall on Lehman Campus, to which I said I could not make it as I was getting married that evening.  Theresa Lato was a true leader; may she rest in peace and watch over all of us.   ~Karen Argenti, BCEQ Communications Chair

Dear friends,

My mother passed away after a short illness. So far as we can tell, she didn’t suffer, which is a great consolation to us.

According to our tradition, prayers for her at this time help her soul rise toward Heaven. If you can help, we would be grateful. Her Hebrew name is Theresa bas Charles.

Eli, Tatiana, Yonatan, Anastasia

Theresa Lato of The Bronx, NY, and Holon, Israel, died March 16, 2010 in Holon.Theresa was born in The Bronx in 1912 to Charles and Gisella Lipton.

Theresa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Hunter College in 1931. In 1946 she married Harold Lato, a NYC lawyer. They had a wonderful marriage until Harold’s death in 1980. After retiring from the NYC Department of Housing in 1970, Theresa founded the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality. This was long before most people knew what environmentalism was. Theresa struggled to keep BCEQ alive in those early years, as her ideas were before their time. She spent many, many hours working on the BCEQ Newsletter, researching and writing groundbreaking articles. BCEQ barely survived for several years, but is today a strong, active organization, and the crowning achievement of Theresa’s life.

Theresa was a staunch Zionist, and wrote extensively in support of Israel.

Theresa is survived by her son Eli (Edward) Lato and daughter-in-law Tatiana Feygina Lato, grandson Yonatan Lato, niece Michaella Kasner, grandniece Lynn Morgan and grandnephew Nick Morgan, and step-granddaughter Anastasia Feygina.

Interment was at Yarkon Cemetery in Petach Tikvah, Israel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made either to “Bronx Council for Environmental Quality,” or to “Yeledim Be Sikui” for its “100% Promise to Israeli Homeless Soldiers” program.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Theresa Lato of The Bronx, NY, and Holon, Israel. February 17, 1912 – March 16, 2010”

  2. By Dino & Gioia Egan on Mar 23, 2010

    Dear Eli, Tatiana, Yonatan & Anastasia:

    We were saddened to learn of Mrs. Lato’s passing. Pleased be assured of our thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

    Dino & Gioia

  3. By Mary Leou on Mar 30, 2010

    My sincerest condolences to the Lato Family.
    Theresa was a wonderful mentor and role model for many environmentalists here in NYC. She was a giant amongst us and will be missed.

    Mary Leou
    New York University

  4. By Roger Martin Davis on Dec 9, 2010

    My sympathies are with the family of Mrs. Lato. I recall the days when we often worked side-by-side on environmental issues and various events. I had founded the Bronx Environmental Society, Inc. in 1970 and our two organizations sometimes agreed and sometimes we disagreed, but we had a mutual shared respect. When my own organization folded in 1974 when I began studies at Cornell University, it was nice to know and hear how Theresa continued the fight. May she R.I.P.
    Roger M Davis, Former Executive Director
    Bronx Environmental Society, Inc.

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