Scranton native and longtime New York City resident Paul M. Lavelle died Dec. 31, 2012, at his home in Pompton Plains, N.J.
Mr. Lavelle was born June 3, 1928, in Scranton, Pa. He attended St. Paul's High School and worked as a clerk at St. Peter's Cathedral. He graduated from the University of Scranton in 1951. From there, Mr. Lavelle served in the Korean War
with distinction in the United States Army
, 40th Infantry, 980th Field Artillery Division. Mr. Lavelle's service was recognized by, inter alia, the award of the Korean Service Medal, with three bronze service stars representing action in several campaigns, including Punch Bowl and Heartbreak Ridge. Mr. Lavelle moved to Manhattan following his military service. There he met his wife of 52 years, Irene, and earned a Master Degree in Sociology from Fordham University.
In 1962, Mr. Lavelle was asked to lead the Staten Island branch of the Youth Counsel Bureau, an agency established as an adjunct to the District Attorney's office to provide youthful offenders with an opportunity to avoid trial and incarceration. Issues associated with juvenile crime expanded with the rapid growth of the borough in the late 1960s and early 1970s and Mr. Lavelle and his staff created a number of programs to meet those challenges.
Mr. Lavelle was able to steer many troubled youth away from further involvement with the criminal justice system and toward productive lives. Some of his clients entered military service with Mr. Lavelle's assistance and guidance. His contributions were recognized by the District Attorney, the City of New York, the United States Navy
and the United States Army.
Upon dissolution of the Youth Counsel Bureau (a victim of the city's mid-1970s financial crisis), Mr. Lavelle became a Director of Community Service for the New York City Housing Authority until his retirement.
Mr. Lavelle was a railroad enthusiast, who also enjoyed spending time with his family, travel, reading, sports, technology, and a proper pint of Guinness.
Mr. Lavelle was also preceded in death by his Irene; and is survived by his sons, Martin, Gerard and Douglas Lavelle; sister, Ann Creedon; and eight grandchildren.
Interment will follow a family Mass to be held at St. Clare's Church in Scranton, Pa., on Saturday, Jan. 5. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at the Interfaith Chapel, Cedar Crest, Pompton Plains, N.J., later in January.