Leonard Chapura died on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. He was born in and lived most of the 89 years of his life in Nanticoke.
He graduated from Nanticoke High School and served honorably in World War II
with the 574th AAA Battalion, Third Army, as a radio repairman and operator. Fifteen of those 36 months were spent in Europe, participating in the Central Europe and Rhineland campaigns under Gen. George S. Patton.
Leonard retired from the Nanticoke Post Office as a letter carrier, being named carrier of the year during his tenure. In his later years, he worked part time for American Greetings and transported foster children for Families Caring for Children.
Leonard's life was devoted to faith, family and community. He was an active member of St. Joseph Slovak Church in Nanticoke until its closure. He served as president of the Holy Name Society for many years and sang in the men's choir at the church. Always ready to lend a hand, he served on many church committees and at any major event at the church.
Leonard was very proud of his Slovak heritage and was a member of the Slovak Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania. A highlight of his life was a trip to Slovakia with this organization, including visits to the small villages that were the birthplaces of his grandparents.
Always interested in the betterment of Nanticoke, he and his late wife, Rita, opened the Family Hobby Center in the 1960s, a model race car track, to provide a place for activities for the youth in town. He was an active participant at redevelopment meetings and worked on the bicentennial committee.
Leonard enjoyed traveling, gardening and playing cards and pool with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a regular at the Nanticoke Senior Center, enjoying its exercise classes.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen (Sopinski) Chapura; his beloved wife, Rita (Kubelis); sister, Irene Makara; and brother, Francis Chapura.
Leonard is survived by daughters, Patricia Kohut and her husband, William, Denise Chapura, and Mary Jo Meding and her husband, Erich; and son, Guy Leonard and his wife, Karen. He is also survived by his sisters, Theresa Koloski and Helen Bonar; brother, John Chapura; nephew, Robert Koloski; and many other nieces and nephews. His grandchildren include Amy Crisp, Justin and Lauren Chapura and Nicholas Meding; his great-grandchildren include Camden and Cadence Crisp.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Earl W. Lohman Funeral Home Inc., 14 W. Green St., Nanticoke, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church, Nanticoke. Friends may call from 9 a.m. until time of services Saturday. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Nanticoke.