policeMy Dad passed away this morning. It is an odd feeling, because no matter how old you are, Dad is still Dad.  He was my best friend, and so much the reason I am who I am today.  I am so thankful that while missing him dearly, there are no regrets – being able to talk with him every day was a joy.  Telling him that I loved him and hearing him tell me that he loved me for 50 years is so satisfying.  He had a great life.  I hope as you read this, you can strive to love the people around you the way we loved my Dad.  

Artie Lembo lived the American Dream. The only son of Italian immigrants, Francis Flammia and Philip Lembo, he was born in Queens, New York on December 11, 1931.  He attended Newtown High School where he graduated in 1948.


Four generations of Lembos: Phil, Artie, Vinny, and Michael


After graduation, Artie joined the United States Marines, and served our country during the Korean War where he rose to the rank of Sergeant, commanding 5 tanks in the Kimpo Penninsula.

Like many Americans who went off to war, Artie returned to the States and began the next phase of his life. While working at his family’s business in Bayville, NY, Artie met the love of his life, Theresa Bertolino from Oyster Bay.


Artie recently got to visit the Sherman tanks he drove in Korea – he was a real hit with all the military guys, as he told his stories about Korea.


After a brief courtship, Artie and Terry married on April 7, 1956.


Artie and Terry were married for 60 years!

The couple settled in Bayville, where Artie became a Nassau County policeman, while Terry set up their home.

Their first child, Philip Michael Lembo was born on Jamuary 5, 1957. Vincent John was born on September 19, 1959, and Arthur Jr. was born on November 22, 1964. All three boys grew up in the house Artie build on Hickory Road in Bayville.


Artie with his three sons: Phil, Art, and Vinny

As a Nassau County police officer, Artie began his career patrolling Lattingtown and Oyster Bay in the familiar blue and orange car #202.  He was eventually promoted to Sergeant, working in the 2nd Precinct. Artie ended his career in 1987 after 32 years as a Lieutenant in Police Headquarters, having held numerous positions at the Department.

Although his vocation was that of a police officer, Artie received his greatest joy as father and grandfather. Raising three boys in Bayville, Artie participated in numerous activities that interested the boys including scouting, sports, and camping among others.  He was filled with joy as each of his boys were married and began raising families of their own.  His daughters-in-laws Vivian, Veronica, and Karen all appreciated the role he played as a second father to them.


Artie having a rousing game of chess with Arthur III


Artie with granddaughters Emily and Katie

He was a loving grandfather to Michael, Michelle, Emily, Allison, Arthur, Nathan, Adam, and Katie, in addition to granddaughter-in-law Lexi, and future grandson-in-law, Cheon Ji Mun . His oldest grandson Michael followed in Artie’s footsteps becoming a Prince George’s County Police Officer, while Emily literally followed his footsteps back to Korea as a Fulbright Scholar.


Michael, the future PG County police officer trying out a NCPD motocycle with Grandpa


Artie with his granddaughter Allison (and Michelle)

Artie and Terry moved to Port Jefferson Station in 1998, where they were active members of Cornerstone Church in Port Jefferson. Artie loved the fellowship at Cornerstone, where he and Terry were surrogate parents and grandparents to many of the young people attending there. A strong Christian man, Artie always sought to put his faith in Jesus to action as he interacted with friends and neighbors in his life.

His favorite verse was Jeremiah 29:12,13:
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Artie Lembo sought his God, found Him, and found peace for himself.

Emily and Chris at the Korean Army base, saluting grandpa.

17 thoughts on “Dad

  1. What a beautiful tribute. You have every reason to be proud of the man he was and the legacy he has left behind. Our prayers are with you.

    • Hallie – I love the example both our Dads set. They were polar opposites in their political views, yet both of them loved not only their own family, but each others family and the community at large. In today’s vitriolic “if you don’t believe the same things as me, you must be evil” political climate, our Dads showed such honor, dignity, and charity. These two great men could teach the world a thing or two about convictions with civility.

      I was fortunate to not only grow up in my own house, but doubly blessed living next to your family.

    • Hallie , while Dad was in ICU and coming in and out of consciousness he asked me one morning if Hallie had visited him the night before. I told him no ,but that he must have been thinking of all the wonderful times we all had growing up next door to each other. Just thought you’d like to know he was thinking about you.

  2. Our prayers are with the Lembo family at this sad time. Sounds like Artie had a wonderful life; and his soul is now where it will live for all eternity.
    Love to all,
    Allan, Jeanne, Eva & Arran Mills

  3. Uncle Artie always had a special way of making you feel welcome and loved. I enjoyed his recollections of the people and events in our family. I could see the love and respect in his eyes when he would speak about the story of my father, Nunzio Bertolino. Uncle Artie would tell the story of how important it was that he had his approval in order to date his sister Theresa. I love you Uncle Artie, thank you for all the wonderful memories.
    Love, Mia

  4. I am sorry for your loss. I know that he was a great guy from the stories you have told us in class. This was truly a pleasure to read.

  5. We are so saddened to hear this news. We have known Artie and Terri since attending Calvary Baptist Church (now Cornerstone Church) they are affectionately known to our children as Grandma and Grandpa Lembo. Artie was a very special man and we loved him dearly. Spending time with them and having the chance to be mentored by them was such a privilege. We send our prayers your way for peace and comfort. Terry we love you deeply and hold you up during this time. We WILL see you again Artie, soon and very soon in the presence of our Lord and Savior, save us some seats!!!

  6. Uncle Artie was a great man and an example on how to live your life and do right by everyone,I was reminded of that by going too his wake and listing too all the great things that he had accomplished in his 84 years I was moved by the Things my cousin Artie had too say at the prayer service.When you live a full life like he did you have no regrets,I would like too leave my sympathys for My Aunt Terry cousins Philp,Vinne and Artie along with all of their familys.

  7. Dr. Lembo,

    What an awesome father! I pray that God comforts and continues to bless your family. We know your dad is with his Heavenly Father. What a honor to be in the presence of the King! My prayer is that God would use your father’s life to bring many souls to glory!


    John Anello

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