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Armand Martinelli, 92, of Scranton passed away Saturday at Geisinger Community Medical Center after an illness. Born in Olyphant, PA, he was the son of the late Leonardo and Anna (Picchio) Martinelli. A devout Roman Catholic, Armand was a long-time member of St. Ann’s Basilica Parish in West Scranton, and attended daily 6:30 Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton.
He was educated at the Lafayette School in Scranton as well as Mother Cabrini School where he spent 4 years. Armand received the first full academic scholarship to the Scranton Preparatory School, which he attended from 1944-1948 as a member of Scranton Prep’s first 4-year graduating class. He is a graduate of Maryknoll College, Glen Ellen, Illinois, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy, as well as a graduate of the University of Scranton, where he earned a B.S. in Social Studies.
Armand was proud to have served his country during the Korean War. His military career started with the 101st Airborne in Breckinridge, Kentucky, and continued on to the U.S Counter Intelligence School at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland. From there, he was deployed to Korea, where he served as a special agent with the 704th CIC in Teague and then with the 308th CIC in Pusan.
He grew up in an era when people started working at a young age. Some of Armand’s more interesting childhood and adolescent jobs included selling coal, shining shoes, and working as a line cook at Pocono Manor. He worked as a self-employed painter and paper hanger, which he sustained for over 50 years. Armand also worked briefly as an insurance agent at John Hancock Insurance Agency. He then began a prolific career at West Scranton High School, during which he taught social studies, Latin, and journalism for 30 years; happily, served as the athletic director for 24 years; and advised the yearbook, school newspaper, literary magazine, Latin club, Letterman club, and journalism club. Through his roles at West Scranton High School, Armand positively influenced the lives of countless individuals, and was deeply beloved by many of his former students, several of whom have kept in touch with him over the years. He loved West Scranton High School, and even in his retirement, he spent his Friday nights on the sidelines at West’s football games.
Active in local politics, Armand served as the Scranton City Democratic Chair, and worked tirelessly on the campaigns of many local candidates. He served two terms on the Scranton School Board, and was instrumental in the formation of the Scranton Federation of Teachers. After retiring from teaching, he served as a Tipstaff for Judge James J. Walsh at the Lackawanna County Courthouse. He also served on numerous local executive boards, including the Scranton Redevelopment Authority, the Scranton Housing Authority, and the Lackawanna Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service.
Armand enjoyed spending time at the Victor Alfieri Club where he was an original member of the Cetaiolos bocce team as well as attending weekly get together with friends at the Villa Maria Restaurant. He was a voracious reader, particularly enjoying history books, and loved watching MSNBC and the Smithsonian Channel each day. A dedicated Notre Dame football fan, Armand enjoyed making the pilgrimage to South Bend to watch his beloved Fighting Irish. He also was an avid Yankees fan and never missed an opportunity to cheer them on.
Above all else, Armand loved his family. He always looked forward to weekly Sunday dinners, where he treated his family to his homemade sauce and meatballs, which he faithfully made right up to the last two weeks of his life.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 62 years, Kathryn Kelley Martinelli, two brothers, William and Leonard Martinelli, and a sister, Julie Martinelli Clause.
He is survived by his children, Michael Martinelli and his wife Amy, James Martinelli and his wife Leslie, Kathryn Martin and her husband Paul, Jean Ann Gavern and her husband Robert, Mary Genello and her husband Atty. Michael Genello, and Margaret Tunney and her partner Andrew Kowalchik; his grandchildren, Atty. Anthony Martinelli, Ann Marie Martinelli, Sara Scott and her husband David, Matthew Gavern and his wife Samantha Bristol, Alexander Martinelli and his wife Caroline, Dr. Michael Genello and his wife Dr. Samantha Linkowski, Jacob Gavern, Andria Kowalchik, Dr. Maria Genello Tokash and her husband Dr. Jeremy Tokash, Anna Tunney, Amanda Martinelli and her fiancé Micah Mokry, Brian Martin and his wife Megan, and Genevieve Martinelli; his great-grandchildren Twyla Bristol, Jacqueline Scott, David Scott, Theodore Martinelli, Jane Genello, and Giulia Tokash; a brother-in-law Emil (Moe) DeCantis; a sister-in-law Delores Martinelli; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Keshav Bhandari, Dr. Kathryn Sallavanti, Dr. Lisa Thomas, and the nurses on the 6th floor and in the Progressive Care Unit at Geisinger Community Medical Center. Their compassionate care was a great comfort.
The funeral will be Thursday from the Savino Traditional Funerals and Cremation Care, 157 S. Main Ave., Scranton, Carl J. Savino, Jr., supervisor, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30am at St. Peters Cathedral, Wyoming Ave. Scranton.
Family and friends may pay their respects on Wednesday from 4-7pm at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, 500 Penn Ave. Scranton, Pa 18503 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 262 Danny Thomas Place Memphis, TN 38105.
To leave an online condolence please visit www.WestScrantonFunerals.com