Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Leonard Lewis Tabor

Leonard Lewis Tabor, Hazleton High School
Senior Class Picture
My uncle passed away about two and a half years ago. I was in and out of my blog around that time and I never got to memorialize him with more than just a photo. Fortunately my godparents sent me a copy of his obituary back in November 2012. As I was going through items that needed to be sorted I came across it and decided that it was long past time to memorialize him.

"Leonard L. Tabor

Nov. 12, 2012

Leonard L. Tabor, 68, of Hazleton passed away Monday at Mountain City Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Hazle Township.

Born in Scranton on March 10, 1944, he was the son of the late Clarence and Florence (Bronsaviage) (sic) Tabor. He was a 1962 graduate of Hazleton High School and spent all of his life in Hazleton.

Hazleton Standard Speaker - 26NOV2012, A2
Leonard was employed as a truck driver for Central Penn Transit and was a member of St. John the Baptist Polish National Catholic Church, Hazleton. He served with the U.S. Army Reserves, Hazleton; was an avid hunter, fisherman, and fan of NASCAR and the Chicago Bears. Surviving are his brother, Paul, West Hazleton; nieces, Michele Ranzan, Saylorsburg; Cherie Cayemburg (sic), Colorado; and Aimee Inama, Iowa; an aunt, Lillian Rominski, Scranton; and cousins, Carolyn Smith, Lillian Hasenzahl, and Shirley Leach, all of Scranton; Barbara Holtzman, Lake Ariel; Stanley Rominski, Clark Summit; Barbara Bronsavage, Ewing, N.J.; and Mary Ann Billig, Hazleton.

A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date in St. John the Baptist Polish National Catholic Church, 748 N. Church St., Hazleton. The Rev. Bogdan Janiec will celebrate the Mass. Interment took place privately in Mountain View Cemetery, West Hazleton, where the Rev. Janiec gave the final blessing.

Harman Funeral Homes and Crematory Inc. (West), 1265 Rock Glen Road, Rock Glen, assisted the family with the arrangements. Online condolences can be entered and more information is available at"

A pretty poor obituary and my uncle deserved better. I got to call and say good-bye to him just days before he passed. He couldn't talk anymore. Just listen, but my boys and I got to tell him that we loved him one last time. He was such a good man. I loved my uncle very much. Seeing his obituary just made me ask so many questions and make so many snarky comments. Snarky in that Bronsavage was spelled wrong in regards to his mother's maiden name, but correctly for his cousin. My surname spelled incorrectly as well. Did no one proof-read this article before it was run? Questions regarding his military in...really he served? I've never seen a photo of him in uniform. I've never heard it discussed. The statement that he served in the Army Reserves with no rank or when he served is a big thing to overlook as far as this veteran is concerned.

Maybe I'm just being grumpy. You see the whole "private" interment that took place was nonsense. The obituary was published in the Hazleton Standard Speaker on November 26th 2012. So none of his nieces knew he died until he was buried. My uncle had the surviving family mentioned in the obituary, but they didn't see him regularly. Were they called and given the opportunity to go to the interment? He lived in Pennsylvania almost his entire life. Plenty of people never escape that city. Would people he went to high school with have wanted to attend? Would coworkers from Penn Transit have wanted to? Whether they would have gone or not will always be a mystery because his brother decided to make the burial "private."

I guess there's no use crying over dysfunctional family members. At least I've been able to visit his grave. I go each time I return home. My uncle is "on my rounds" for placing flowers. He's next to his mom and dad and I see that the gravestone has room for my dad when he goes too. I've created a FindAGrave memorial for him too so others that may be interested in saying goodbye to this loving man can do just that.

I hope to find a picture of him in uniform someday, but I'm not overly hopeful. Maybe someone will come across this blog that served with him and be able to share one so I can put him in my Veterans Day post properly. Although until I know details about his enlistment it won't really be properly noted.

Nothing makes a genealogist/family historian grumpier than a dysfunctional family with a poorly written obituary.

Tabor tombstone at Mountain View Cemetery, West Hazleton, PA