NANTICOKE - Leonard J. Michaels, 78, of Nanticoke, passed away at home on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, under the care Home Health Celtic Hospice Community Care, while surrounded by his loved ones after an 18-month battle with gastroesophageal cancer.
He was born in Nanticoke, a son of the late Joseph and Catherine (O'Konski) Mickolajczyk.
Leonard was a graduate of Nanticoke High School, Wilkes-Barre Business College and Penn State University Extension, Wilkes-Barre. He served with the U.S. Air Force for four years as airman, first class. Upon returning home, he joined the American Legion Post No. 350, Nanticoke.
Prior to retirement, he was employed by Prudential Financial for 33 years as a sales manager and representative. Leonard then completed the life underwriter training council for insurance executives and received many achievement awards during his career. Prior to Prudential, he was employed by Kay Wholesale Drug Co.
Leonard was a former president of the Greater Nanticoke Area Chamber of Commerce, vice president of the Greater Nanticoke Area Industrial Corp. and a founding member of the Tri Tones Polka Band, where he played clarinet and saxophone.
He was a member of the former Holy Trinity Church, now St. Faustina Parish Church, where he served as an usher for more than 50 years, the Holy Name Society, serving as president for four years, and the annual parish picnic, Turkey Bingo and the Mardi Gras Ball committees.
Leonard was an avid Penn State Nittany Lions fan, and enjoyed building Legos with his grandson, attending Alexandra's dance recitals, Emily's gymnastics class and Tyler's baseball games, and teaching Brian to cook.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Vishnefski.
Surviving are his wife of 53 years, the former Eileen Novak; daughters, JoAnn Ciminaro and her husband, Tony, Wexford, Pa., and Susan Doughtery and her fiance, Mark Boncal; grandchildren, Alexandra L. Ciminaro; Tyler, Brian and Emily Doughtery; several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Funeral will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday from the Grontkowski Funeral Home P.C., 51-53 W. Green St., Nanticoke, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Faustina Parish Church (primary site). The Rev. James Nash will officiate. Friends are asked to go directly to church for the Mass Saturday morning. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hanover Township. Friends and relatives are invited to join the family for calling hours 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. St. Faustina Ushers will meet at the funeral home at 7 p.m. to recite the rosary.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Faustina Building Fund, Oncology Associates, Kingston, or the North East Regional Oncology Center (NROC), Dunmore.