Dr. Anthony “Tony” Lazzaro of Brownsville, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Paramount Senior Living Center in McMurray, PA on May 15, 2020. Born April 22, 1931, in Vesta Six, PA, he was the son of the late Emidio and Helen Lazzaro and the oldest of five children.
In addition to his parents, Anthony was preceded in death by his beloved wife Florence (Ellison) Lazzaro (2008) and brother Roland Lazzaro (wife Shirley) (2005).
Left to cherish his memory are his two children, Dr. Anthony John Lazzaro of Venetia, PA and Judy Lazzaro and husband, Dr. James McQuiston of Troy, MI; sister Nancy DeAmbroggi (husband Henry, deceased) of New Stanton, PA, brother, Louis J. Lazzaro and wife, Nancy of Greensburg, PA and sister, Cynthia Queen and husband, Tom of Washington, PA. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Cara Lazzaro Hawks and husband Jason, A.J. Lazzaro, Michael McQuiston, Jimmy McQuiston, great grandchildren, Anthony and Sophia Hawks, and many loving nieces, nephews, and relatives from Italy and Australia.
Tony graduated from Centerville High School Class of 1949, Centerville Borough, PA and recently attended his 70th class reunion. After high school, Tony worked in Philadelphia and Dearborn, MI as a carpenter. Although he was very proud of being in the Carpenter’s Union at an early age, Tony told his Dad that he wanted to quit his job as a carpenter to earn a college degree. Tony attended California State Teacher’s College, now known as California University of Pennsylvania in the early 1950s, beginning Tony’s lifelong devotion to education and teaching. He loved to tell the story that the cost of his four-year degree was less than $800, yet worried that the current cost of higher education had become unobtainable for many people with a background similar to his.
On a blind date set up by mutual friends, Tony met Florence Ellison, a young nursing student who became the love of his life. They married in 1954. Tony loved cooking, playing cards and traveling the world with Flo after their retirements. They often traveled to Elderhostels with Tony teaching classes on wine and astronomy. Tony occasionally taught astronomy classes on cruise ships with the highlight being 1986 when Haley’s Comet last appeared in the sky. When Flo passed on May 16, 2008, Tony wrote that “the stars are much brighter in the night sky” with her passing. Tony remained devoted to Flo even after her death.
During his long and distinguished teaching career, Tony taught high school at Ellsworth, Brownsville and Baldwin school districts located in southwestern PA. Through the National Science Foundation, he was able to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his Master’s Degree. He also earned his PhD in Science Education at Penn State. Tony joined the faculty as a professor at Clarion University of Pennsylvania where he taught chemistry and then returned back to California University of Pennsylvania and taught chemistry and astronomy. Tony always enjoyed running into former students around town and hearing about their lives and families. Tony retired from Cal and was later granted emeriti status. Tony also became a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Cal Alumni Board of Directors.
In addition to his teaching, Tony enjoyed working with teachers and students competing in the Science Olympiad Organization. While at Cal and during his retirement, Tony was very involved with the Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties (APSCUF) and the Cal-Ed Federal Credit Union. Tony also served a term on the Centerville Borough Council.
In his spare time, Tony had a passion for collecting and making wine. He always had a good time and a glass of wine while solving the world’s problems with his Soup & Gab friends in the Brownsville Borough Building. He also enjoyed the fellowship, spaghetti dinners and playing bocce at the Sons of Italy and other numerous Italian organizations in Washington county.
If you asked Tony, he would say that his greatest accomplishment wasn’t his long career, it was being a father. He enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren whenever he could.
The family wishes to send a special thank you to the people at The Paramount Senior Living Center in McMurray, PA for their loving care and support during his final days.
Friends wishing to honor Tony’s lifelong commitment to education may make donations to the Lazzaro Scholarship Fund C/O California University of Pennsylvania Foundation, California, PA.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Mariscotti Funeral Home, Inc., Anthony N. Mariscotti, Supervisor, 323 Fourth Street, California, PA.
A memorial service in celebration of Tony’s life will be announced for a day later this summer.
To sign the register book or leave condolences, please visit mariscottifuneralhome.com
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