Leonard C. Mollica passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on September 3, 2023 in Colorado Springs, CO.  Leonard was born August 24, 1925 in Raton (Brilliance), New Mexico to Angelena (Lena) and Anthony Mollica.

They later moved to Dunmore outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

After graduating high school, Leonard was drafted into the Army in May 1944 during WWII.  Throughout his 30-year military career, he was stationed at numerous U. S. and worldwide military installations.  He proudly served our country in three wars.  He was in an Airborne Division in WWII and in the Korean War, and in Special Forces (Green Beret) and Special Operations in Vietnam.  He received three Bronze Stars; and numerous other awards, commendations, and medals.  

After retiring from the Army as a Command Sergeant Major, Leonard worked 20 years in Civil Service at Fort Carson.

Leonard met and married the love of his life, Zilla (Zilli) in November 1957 in Berlin, Germany.  They retired in Colorado Springs in June 1974.  They shared a wonderful life together, and travelled to their favorite places:  Hawaii and San Francisco.  They loved touring around the U. S. with Heike and Peter from Germany.

In retirement, Leonard was a member of Special Forces Retirement Association; and a member of Special Operations Association for 45 years.  He loved attending reunions for both.  He was also a volunteer with the Democratic party for many years.

Leonard was a humble man, very kind, generous, humorous, and tolerant.  An exemplary man to his family, friends, and neighbors.  He loved the frequent visits from his neighbors and other service members.  He was a devout Catholic, and a parishioner at Divine Redeemer Catholic Church, and an honorary life member of the Knights of Columbus.

Leonard is preceded in death by his wife Zilla (Zilli); his parents Angelena and Anthony Mollica; sister Josephine Gagliardi; brothers Dominic and Frank Mollica; brother-in-law Frank (Babe) Gagliardi; sister-in-law Connie Mollica; niece Sandy Gagliardi; nephew and niece Peter and Heike; and numerous other aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews.

Leonard is survived by his sister-in-law Antoinette (Toni) Mollica; nephews and nieces:  Jim Gagliardi; Marilyn (Chuck) Montoya; Frank (Sheri) Gagliardi; Rob (Nanale’) Gagliardi; Mike (Colleen) Gagliardi; Gina Mollica; John (Shelley) Mollica; Jerry (Mary) Mollica; Janet (Dan) Martino; Jeff (Jennifer) Mollica; Chad (Beth) Mollica; Jeff Mollica; numerous great-nieces and nephews; great-great nieces and nephews; cousin Frank Frenchmore; numerous other cousins; and best friend of Leonard and Zilli, Barbra Edmonds.

Services will be held at Divine Redeemer Catholic Church, 927 N. Logan Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO  80909 on Monday, September 18, 2023, with the Rosary at 10:30 a.m. and a Mass of Remembrance at 11:00 a.m.  A reception will immediately follow at Divine Redeemer.  After the reception, there will be a Niche-side service at 2:30 p.m. at Shrine of Remembrance, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Leonard’s memory to Divine Redeemer Catholic Church, 927 N. Logan Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80909, or a charity of your choice.

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This Obituary Has 2 Condolences

  1. The Buckley SFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our sincere condolences and our gratitude for CSM Mollica’s 30 years of distinguished service to our country in the Army. If you would like help with any matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance & Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Veterans Affairs (VA), etc. you can contact our office on Buckley SFB at 720-847-6693 or raobuckley@gmail.com. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses/family members with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss.

    Steve Young
    Lt Col, USAF, Ret
    Director, Buckley SFB RAO

  2. I am sorry to hear of the passing of CSM Mollica. I know of him through my father, John Pioletti, whose career was similar to his, and they had served together several times during their military service. My family spoke of him fondly, and they were long time friends. The last time I met CSM Mollica was at the 10th Special Forces Group 60th Anniversary Program in town.
    Please accept my deepest condolences to you of his loss.

    Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time,

    Teresa Pioletti Taylor

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