Leo J. Bonicki, 76, died July 23 in St. Petersburg, Fla., after a short illness. He was the widower of Helen LeVasseur, to whom he was married for many years.

He was born Jan. 8, 1937, in Waterbury, the son of the late Leo P. and Helen M. (Farrell) Bonicki. He was a longtime Waterbury resident before moving to Florida in 2000.

He graduated from Crosby High School and worked at Farrell Foundry in Cheshire before becoming a teacher in 1972, and later, department head at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain, from which he retired.

He was an integral part of Waterbury's sports history as a former outstanding athlete and a coach and an inspiration to the youth of Waterbury. He is perhaps best known as a player and coach with the Pomperaug League Champion Waterville Red Wings baseball team.

He also coached the Waterville Community Club-Travel Center boys baseball teams to five straight Mickey Mantle Division state championships and one regional championship. One of his teams advanced to the World Series in Sherman, Texas.

He was also a well-known Waterville community leader through his dedication as head coach of the Pop Warner Waterville Vikings Midget Football team for more than 20 years, guiding them to five undefeated seasons and six bowl games.

He received the Sportsmen Club Award, as well as the Olympian Award in 1990 for his contributions to local sports and his efforts to improve the quality of life in Waterbury.

He is survived by his children, Leo P. Bonicki, and his wife, Stephanie, of Waterbury; Christine Leonard, and her husband, Brian, of Germantown, Md.; Karen Ouellette, and her husband, Dan, of Waterbury; Kevin Bonicki, and his wife, Angela, of Waterbury; Linda Omasta, and her husband, Tom, of Bridgewater; and Robert Bonicki, and his wife, Karen, of Waterbury; seven grandchildren, Corey and Dan Leonard, Lindsey and Kyle Bonicki, Thomas Ouellette, and Anthony and Andrew Bonicki; nieces and nephews; and countless dear friends.

Calling hours will be Aug. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mulville Funeral Home, 270 West Main St., Waterbury.

A Mass will take place Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 74 West Main St., Waterbury. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

Memorials may be made to Corp. Coyle American Legion Baseball, 60 Hewey St., Waterbury CT 06708.