Lawrence Castellani

Funeral Service

Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sacred Heart Church
Peckville, Pennsylvania, United States

Obituary of Lawrence Castellani

Lawrence (Larry) Castellani, 93, of Peckville, died Monday, November 13, at the home of his son in Jessup. He was preceded in death by his wife and sweetheart of 66 years, Irene (Krasny) Castellani.

Born in Peckville, he was the son of the late Louis and Maria (Naticchi) Castellani. He attended Archbald schools and was employed at the Billig shoe factory and later at General Dynamics. A lifelong Peckville resident, he was a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

He was one of 8 children from a poor family that faced the extreme hardships of the Great Depression. Rather than making him bitter, his difficult childhood left a lasting impression that drove him to provide the love, security, and comforts for his children that he never knew as a child. A warm, good natured and good humored outgoing person, he was always smiling and always able to get others to smile. Throughout his life he gave selflessly, with the happiness and well-being of his family always coming first. He was happiest at holidays when the entire family was together around the table basking in his love. His whole life was an example of how we should love and treat each other, and love and trust in God. As an example of this, when looking for a parking place after he had just gotten off from work after standing all day in a factory on an artificial leg and was asked why he didn’t park in one of the handicapped spaces, he replied, “I’ll leave it for someone who needs it more than me”. He was the kind of decent hard working, god fearing family man that defined the Great Generation.

Despite his loving and gentle nature, when called upon by his country, he served with distinction during World War II  as a member of the 5th infantry division, 11th regiment attached to general Pattons 3rd army during the Battle of the Bulge. He earned the Bronze Star with 1 bronze oak leaf cluster, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 bronze service star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge 1st award, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, Expert Badge with Rifle bar, Marksman Badge with Machine Gun Bar, and the Purple Heart after being wounded and losing his right leg. Though his military service was exemplary his true character during the war was shown in his acts of kindness, from sharing his food with a starving young French boy, chopping firewood for 80 year old twin sisters who were freezing in the bitter cold winter, to teaching a fellow comrade the Lord’s Prayer. Larry never let the war change who he was, a kind and loving man with a strong faith in God.      He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and was a founding member of the Shopa-Davey VFW Post 6082 in Peckville.

Also surviving are a son Lawrence, Jessup; two daughters, Ann Marie Dapsis and husband, Charles, Clarks Summit; and Andrea Kempa and husband, Paul, Jessup; five grandchildren, Wendy Gardner, Chuck and Daniel Dapsis, and Amanda and Emily Kempa; six great-grandchildren, Christopher, Brandon, Aiden, and Caleb Gardner and Isabella and Caitlyn Dapsis.

He was also preceded in death by three brothers Carlo, John, and Andrew Castellani; and four sisters, Della Sebastianelli, Jenny Kologinski, Margaret Guistimbelli, and Susan Pasternak.

The family would like to express its sincere thanks to his doctors and medical professionals, especially to Dr. Cynthia Oleski for her loving, compassionate care, and also to member’s of the Hospice of the Sacred Heart in Dunmore, especially Kathryn Nielsen.

The funeral will be Saturday from the James M. Margotta Funeral Home, 1019 Main St., Peckville, with Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Peckville. Interment at St. Cyril's Cemetery, Peckville. Friends may call Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.

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