Dr. Leonard L. Szpara passed away peacefully on Friday, August 21st, at the age of 76. Leonard was born and raised in Blakely, Pennsylvania. At the University of Scranton, Leonard completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (1965) and a Master of Science in Counselor Education (1967). He went on to complete his Doctor of Education degree in Psychoeducational Processes from Temple University in 1977. Leonard initiated his career at The Pennsylvania State University, Worthington-Scranton campus, in 1968. During his almost 30-year career at Penn State, Leonard coordinated Counseling and Advising Services, and served as Campus Psychologist, Counselor, and Advisor. He also directed the Learning Center and taught multiple psychology, education, and counseling courses. During his training and career, Leonard also taught courses on psychology at the University of Scranton, Marywood University, and Temple University. Leonard maintained an active psychologist license until his death, and was a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA). After his retirement from Penn State in 1997, Leonard turned his lifelong interest in automobiles into a part-time career in automotive appraisal, repair and detailing, and resale.
Leonard served the community in numerous roles, most recently as a School Board member for the Manheim Central School District and as a School Director for the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center. In his retirement community in Mount Joy, PA, Leonard served on the Homeowner’s Advisory Group for The Villas at Elm Tree, and was a member of Mary Mother of the Church Parish. In his many years in Peckville, PA, Leonard was an active member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, and served both as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector.
Leonard is survived by his wife Yvonne Mahig Szpara, his two daughters, Michelle Yvonne Szpara (Kenneth Robert DeNisco) and Moriah Louise-Teresa Szpara (Manuel Llinás), grandchildren, Sahara Ann Szpara-DeNisco, Silvio Szpara Llinás, and Amadeo Szpara Llinás, his brother Edward Sparrow (Patricia and daughter Stacey), and was preceded in death by his sister, Lorraine Malewich (daughter JoAnn Harvie).
Family, friends, and colleagues of Yvonne Szpara are respectfully invited to attend the funeral mass for her husband, Dr. Leonard L. Szpara, on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020, at 9:30am, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 1101 Willow St, Peckville, PA 18452. The church will be open beginning at 9:00am. Please wear your mask and observe social distancing. Interment will follow the mass, at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Blakely, PA. To join the family for a light meal outdoors afterward, please RSVP to LLS1@psu.edu. The obituary and online condolences are available at www.BuchFuneral.com
In lieu of flowers, please send a memorial donation in Leonard’s memory to The Salvation Army of Pottsville Corps (400 Sanderson St., Pottsville, PA 17901) or to The Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine (750 East Pratt Street, 17th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202, or online at https://secure.jhu.edu/form/fjhm).