Robert F. (Bobby) Leo, 81, of Carbondale, PA, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at the Briarwood Retirement Community in Worcester, MA.
Born in Carbondale, he was the son of the late Mary Mancuso Leo and Peter Leo. He was a graduate of the Ben Franklin High School, where he was voted “most athletic male” and played varsity football, basketball, and baseball, leading the team to the Northern League Championship in 1952.
He proudly served four years in the Air Force from 1954-1958 as an Airman First Class as part of the Strategic Air Command, traveling to Wake Island, Okinawa, the Philippines, Alaska, Africa, and Greenland.
He was stationed at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, KS, where he played second base on a team that won the National Baseball Congress Tournament Championship.
After the Air Force, he drove Route 66 cross-country and ended up in Nogales, Mexico, taking odd jobs along the way. He had two brushes with major league baseball: one at the age of 17 when he was invited to try out for the St. Louis Browns; the other when he was scouted in Topeka, KS while on the Forbes baseball team. He ended up playing amateur ball in the Scranton Association and continued to play into his 40s in the Wayne County League, where he held the batting champion title.
Bob worked as an electronics technician, and then as a supervisor at Tobyhanna Army Depot for over 30 years.
He was a member of many clubs and organizations, all of which he served as President at one time or another, including UNICO and the Pre-Teen Park Association. An avid hunter, he was a founding member of the 0-6 Rod & Gun Club and a member of the Pioneer Rangers Hunting Club.
He was also a founding member, past president, and 37-year board member of the Newton Lake Association.
He coached the West Side Braves Little League team for 14 years, winning 12 league championships. He also served as a basketball referee in the YMCA League.
Together with his beloved wife of 52 years, Anna Mae, he traveled the world, including trips to Australia, New Zealand, the former Yugoslavia, France, Portugal, England, Antigua, Bermuda, Aruba, and across the U.S.
Bob had many sayings, but one of his favorites was: “If worrying will help, worry. But only worry about the things you can control.” He never worried.
He loved life, was extremely positive, and always saw the best in people.
He made friends wherever he went. His favorite thing to do in his later years was to have a cup of coffee with the guys at the Drive-N-Buy, Pinky’s, and his home away from home, Mazza Linen.
He will be deeply missed.
The family would like to thank Dr. Frank Moro and Dr. Mario Sebastianelli, who kept him going all these years.
A beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, he is survived by daughter Teresa Leo and husband Kyle Keenan, son Robert P. Leo and wife Janet, and granddaughters Zoie and Bella. Also surviving are his sister Romayne Sweeney, sister Barbara Petrulak and husband Robert, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and cherished friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Mae Leo; a brother, Andrew Leo; a sister, Josephine Leo; brothers-in-law, Joseph Sweeney, Thomas Villano, and John Villano; and a sister-in-law, Nancy Nadratowicz.
Friends and family may call Sunday from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Lawrence A. Gabriel Funeral Home, 2 Hospital St., Carbondale, with Mass of Christian Burial on Monday at 9:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 15 Fallbrook St., Carbondale, followed by interment at Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Finch Hill.