Mount Carmel salutes World War II veteran; next flag raising Sunday
MOUNT CARMEL- Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Committee held its 443rd "Changing of the Colors" flag ceremony on June 23 at the flag pole at Susquehanna Bank in honor and memory of a World War II veteran.
Bruno John Leonardi was born Dec. 9, 1912, in Tuenno, in the province of Trento, Austria, which is now in Italy. He was a son of Luigi and Mary (Zanollini) Leonardi.
Before immigrating to the United States in December 1933, Leonardi worked in his uncle's bicycle shop and as an apprentice tailor with his parents. At age 17, he entered the Italian Army, serving from 1930 to December 1933.
Prior to World War II, he worked many jobs in Mount Carmel, including a job with the water company, and in New York City as a cabdriver, mechanic and construction worker. During this time, he became a United States citizen.
Leonardi entered the U.S. Army on April 9, 1942, at Harrisburg and was honorably discharged as a technician fourth grade on Nov. 16, 1945, at Unit B Separation Center No.45, Indiantown Gap Military Reservation. He received his basic training at Fort Drum, N.Y., and additional training in Arizona and California before leaving for Africa on Aug. 21, 1943.
Serving with the 98th Ordinance Company Heavy Maintenance Tank, he received the following medals: America Theater Service Medal; Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater Service Medal with three bronze stars for campaigns in Southern France, Rhineland and Central Europe; Good Conduct Medal; World War II victory medal; and the Honorable Discharge lapel pin.
He was a marksman with the rifle and 30-caliber machine gun. Total service to his country was three years, seven months, eight days, of which foreign service was two years, two months, and 21 days.
On Sept. 28, 1946, he was married by the Rev. Paul Weaver to the former Theresa Pupo at St. Peter's Church, Mount Carmel. She proceeded him in death on March 11, 2003.
After the war, he worked as a mechanic for Albertini Motors, Mount Carmel, and Fred Zuech in Green Ridge. In 1951, Leonardi and his brother, Ezio, opened Mount Carmel Dry Cleaners and operated it until the business closed in June 1989. He also worked as a contract mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.
Leonardi was a member of Divine Redeemer Church and the Holy Name Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2110 and American Legion Post 91 and was a life member of American Hose and Chemical Fire Company, all of Mount Carmel.
On his 100th birthday on Dec. 9, Mount Carmel Mayor J. Kevin Jones proclaimed Bruno John Leonardi Day.
Leonardi died May 14 and is buried in St. Peter's Cemetery, Mount Carmel Township. He is survived by two daughters, a son and a grandson.
The flag that was flown for the previous month was in honor of George P. Parry, who served with Companies E and C, 55th Regiment, Pa. Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil War. "Taps" was sounded on the bugle by Ann Ray Begis as the flag was lowered by Anthony Candelora.
The Leonardi flag was escorted to the ceremony by Connie Andrews and was presented to Summers by Leonardi's daughter, Mary Theresa Hornberger.
Susquehanna Bank was thanked for displaying Leonardi's name on its message board.
The next flag ceremony is set for 1 p.m. Sunday to honor Leonard E. Shuder Sr.