Leonard G. Tarantini, 93, of Clarks Summit, died Sunday at home after a brief illness, peacefully surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Catherine Llewellyn, who died in March 2014. The couple had been married for 61 years.
Born in Scranton, son of the late Francesco and Annunciata Arvonio Tarantini, he was a graduate of Scranton Central High School Class of 1945. After graduation, Leonard went on to serve in the United States Army as a Military Police Corporal from 1946 to 1947. Honorably discharged, he entered the University of Scranton, graduating in 1951.
In June 1953, he married Catherine, his high school sweetheart. Leonard was an agent for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. He went on to establish his own refuse business, which he operated for several decades until finally retiring at the age of 90.
A gifted athlete, as a high school freshman he was proud to be selected to play on Central High School’s Varsity basketball team. In his late teens, he discovered a passion for bowling that lasted a lifetime. As his skills developed, so did his reputation, earning him the nickname “Lenny The Great.” In 1957, he bowled his first perfect 300 game. Fifty years and many perfect games later, he bowled his final 300 game at the age of 80. Though he won many awards and trophies and was even televised with the Pro Bowlers Tour on ABC Sports, he was most proud to be voted “Mr. Congeniality” by his peers. He enjoyed countless good times with good friends, especially on the golf course.
Leonard had a zest for life. He was a music lover and a superb dancer who especially enjoyed the Great American Song Book of his 1940s youth. Above all, he was proud of his Italian heritage and especially enjoyed good Italian food and music.
Leonard was extremely determined and strong-willed, and he lived life to the fullest. He was always very sociable, eagerly looking forward to any family gathering or event. A humble and compassionate man, he felt extremely blessed, appreciated the kindness of others, and always rooted for the underdog.
The family would like to thank his compassionate and dedicated caregiver, Donna Kasper, whose encouragement, patience, and sense of humor brightened his days.
Surviving are a daughter, Georgina Tarantini, Clarks Summit; a sister, Anna Grippo, Scranton; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Rossi, Dallas; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was also preceded in death by a brother, Patrick Tarantini.
The funeral will be Saturday with Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Lucy’s Church, 949 Scranton St., West Scranton.
Friends may pay their respects at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of service. Those attending are asked to follow current safety guidelines with respect to social distancing and wearing a mask. Interment will be held privately at the Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
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