Donald J. Rinaldi, 67, of Dunmore, died unexpectedly at home on Saturday. He was the son of Frances Fendel Rinaldi and the late William M. Rinaldi.
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A lifelong member of Saints Anthony and Rocco's Parish, he was a graduate of Dunmore High School in 1966 and attended RETS Electronic School in Phila., where he graduated with a specialty in electronics. He volunteered for the Army during the Vietman War and was stationed in Germany, where he served as a radio repairman and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.
In 1972 when he was honorably discharged from the Army, he began his career at Tobyhanna Army Depot, where he worked for 30 years until he retired in 2002 with numerous distinguished service awards.
He was a truly wonderful son, taking care of his father during his extensive illness, and providing comfort to his mother. He was also a very devoted nephew to his aunt Grace Coccia and to his cousins, Tina, Gary and Jess Lavelle; Stephanie Lavelle Shivock and her husband, Chris, all of Ransom Twp. He was a friend to everyone who knew him and was always there whenever and for whatever he was needed. From the smallest to largest tasks, he never refused. His neighbor described him as a saint who walked among us, selflessly doing for others and wanting nothing in return. He shunned praise and the spotlight at all times but he had strong ties to so many things solely to help others.
After his retirement he continued his passion of volunteering at St. Anthony's Playground on a full-time basis and served as the president of the Playground Association for many years, where he worked tirelessly for the children and athletes of the Dunmore Community. There was never an event at the playground that Donald wasn't doing something at, from fixing the fields to parking cars to taking out the garbage. He was so proud of the grants he received to make improvements to his beloved playground and was recently awarded a sizeable grant through the state which he planned to use on major renovations.
He enjoyed golfing, was an avid Yankees fan and attended RailRiders games when he could.
The family would like to thank the gang at the playground for being his second family and know they will carry on his dedication to the playground he loved so dearly.
A private funeral Mass was held at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Dunmore and celebrated by the Rev. David Cappelloni and entombment occurred in the Italian American Cemetery, Scranton. Pallbearers were Steve Yanisko Sr., Steve Yanisko Jr., Luke Yanisko, Alec Yanisko, Dave DelVecchio, Joseph DelVecchio and Harrison Rapp.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Anthony's Playground, c/o Tina Lavelle, 1026 Community Drive, Scranton, PA.
Services provided by the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home Inc. To send an online condolence, please visit www.dunmorefuneral
Carlucci Golden DeSantis Funeral Home
318 East Drinker Street Dunmore, PA 18512
Published in Scranton Times on May 14, 2014