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Lawrence Gurnari

1929 - 2021
Lawrence Gurnari Obituary

Lawrence Gurnari, 91, passed away peacefully Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, from complications of COVID-19, at River Run Skilled Nursing Facility, where he resided since July 2019.

Lawrence was born in Kingston to the late Catherine Provenziano Gurnari and Bruno Gurnari on Nov. 16, 1929. He grew up in Luzerne and attended Luzerne High School. He was an avid bowler and caddied at the local golf courses while learning to play golf. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. As a corporal he served in the 527th Unit, Air Control & Warning Squadron as well as the 347th Unit, Fighter Bomber Wing, stationed in Japan and Korea during the Korean War.

Mr. Gurnari was employed for over 25 years collectively by Robarts Steel, Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central Railroad, Conrail and retired from Amtrak.

Larry also known as "Shark," loved his family and was a devout husband and father, who made many friends. He always had a story to tell and enjoyed making others laugh. He greatly relished the game of golf and established numerous friendships at Irem Temple Country Club, where he enjoyed assisting in the Pro Shop. To this day, he will be remembered in so many ways, including having fun with anyone who would give him the time with some golf talk on the long (putt); one that went in the hole for a win, or not (so close)!

He especially loved working with young kids who enjoyed the jollity of being around the golfers and golf shop, many of them learning to play golf themselves.

He was married to the late Helen Varaitis Gurnari on Sept. 5, 1953, and enjoyed 65 years together before Helen's passing in Feb., 2019. Both he and his wife were lifelong members of Holy Family Parish, formerly St. Ann's in Luzerne. At St. Ann's, he was very involved in the annual bazaars and in helping his father-in-law, the late Jacob Varaitis, St. Ann's church organist and sexton. He also enjoyed many summer gatherings at the family cottage at Harveys Lake.

He was preceded in death, in addition to his wife and parents, by his brothers, Joseph, Dominick, Francis, Bruno Jr. and Alfred.

He is survived by his twin sons, Lawrence and wife, Charleen, New Jersey; James and wife, Debbie, Forty Fort; and daughter, Diana Hoover, Dallas. He is also survived by his grandchildren, James of Bethesda, Md.; Marisa Coldwell and her husband, Peter, Bethlehem; and Lauren Hoover and her husband, Leeland; and two great-grandchildren, California; as well brothers, Anthony, Angelo; and sisters, Ann Marie Padalski; Arlene Kane; and sister-in-law, Johanna Varaitis; including several nieces and nephews.

The family would like to gratefully thank Dr. Mera and the staff at River Run Nursing Facility for the care, kindness and compassion taking care of Larry during his stay.

Arrangements are pending due to the pandemic and a memorial service in his honor will be held at a later date. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for all acts of caring and kindness shown during this sorrowful time.

In lieu of flowers, remembrance memorial donations can be made in honor of Lawrence Gurnari directly to Irem Golf Association Memorial Fund, 70 Ridgeway Drive, Dallas, PA 18612; or of PA, 57 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre.

Condolences can be sent to betzjastremski.com.

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