Leonard F. Marzen Sr.
Leonard F. Marzen Sr. of Jim Thorpe passed away peacefully on Friday, July 5, in the Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton. He was within days of his 94th birthday on July 11.
He started as a mechanic with the former Mauch Chunk Transportation Company, which became the Jim Thorpe Transportation Co. in 1953. He rose from mechanic to owner and general manager of the company and operated 22 school buses and later added a motorcoach division, Jim Thorpe Tours, with 11 coaches, in 1983.Next to his family, buses were the love of his life, and he was a past president of the Pennsylvania Bus Association and a member of the former Pennsylvania School Bus Association, American Bus Association and the United Bus Owners of America.
- Leonard, better known as "Lenny," spent his entire 66-year career in the bus business.
Lenny was also very civic-minded, having been a charter member of the former Jim Thorpe V.F.W., and now the Lehighton V.F.W., a member of the Jim Thorpe American Legion Post 304, the Men of Marian, the Men of Malvern and a former member of the Jim Thorpe Memorial Park Commission for 32 years. As such, he was involved in many of the installations and repairs of rides at Memorial Park, as well as its overall maintenance.
He was previously in charge of the maintenance of the fire engine and ambulance at the Fairview Hose Co. in East Jim Thorpe for 48 years. He was an usher at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Jim Thorpe, in his earlier years.
Lenny was very proud that until his later years, he gave over 18 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross during its bloodmobile drives.
Years ago, he was one of the few people in town with a snowplow and assisted the former boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk in keeping their streets open. As the Jim Thorpe School District's transportation company, schools opened and closed based on Lenny's evaluation to the school district superintendent during a winter storm.
Lenny was the founder of the American Legion Boy Scout Troop when he was commander. He was honored as the Allentown Sertoma Club Man of the Year in 1992 and was awarded a life membership in the Pennsylvania Bus Association upon his retirement in 1997. He was also honored as Jim Thorpe Man of the Year by American Legion Post 304 in 1981.
He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Jim Thorpe.
He was predeceased by his wives, the former Eleanor Smith, who died of leukemia in 1948, and the former Margaret Krajcir, who died of a heart attack in 2010.
Leonard was a son of the late John and Amelia (Engler) Marzen, who died in 1976 and 1966, respectively. He was also predeceased by four brothers, John, Frank, William and Msgr. Joseph.
He is survived by a sister, Sister Mary Marzen of the Sisters of Christian Charity, Danville, Pa.; and four brothers, George, and his wife, Emma, and Robert, and his wife, Connie, both of Jim Thorpe, Edward, and his wife, Helen, of Lehighton R.D., and James, and his wife, Jean, of Allentown.
Leonard was very proud of and loved his sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This includes sons, Leonard Jr., and his wife, JoAnn, of Whitehall, and Thomas, and his wife, Kathy, of Sewell, N.J. His grandchildren are Paul Marzen, and his wife, Maria, of Fountain Hill, Amanda, wife of Michael Roberts of Wales in the UK, Mark Marzen of Denver, Colo., and AnnMarie Marzen of Whitehall. Lenny's great-grandchildren are Emma Shea Marzen, Violet Rose Roberts and Cora Ruth Marzen.
Leonard was a World War II veteran, having served in the occupation of Germany, and was training for the invasion of Japan when the war ended. He thus will be buried appropriately with a military funeral.
Service: Funeral service 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, Edward F. Melber Funeral Home, 524 Center St., Jim Thorpe; Mass of the Christian Burial 11 a.m., St. Joseph Catholic Church, Jim Thorpe, with the Revs. Francis J. Baransky and Thomas Shanfelt officiating. Interment, parish cemetery, Jim Thorpe. Call 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Contributions in his name may be made to the St. Joseph Regional Academy or Marian Catholic High School.
EDWARD F MELBER FUNERAL HOME
524 CENTER ST JIM THORPE, PA 18229-2109
Published in Times News on July 8, 2013