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R.J. ‘Leonard’ DeBernardis

June 12, 1921 - May 16, 2016

R.J. "Leonard" DeBernardis, 94, Altoona, passed away Monday at Maybrook Hills Health and

Rehabilitation Center after a brief illness.

He was born in Altoona, son of the late N. Thomas and Maria (Turchetta) DeBernardis. On Feb. 22, 1944, he married Anna Anzalone.

Surviving are his loving wife of 72 years; a daughter, Rena Lantz (Joseph) of Altoona; a son, Leonard DeBernardis (Evonne) of Altoona; five grandchildren: David, Mark and Diana DeBernardis, Steven Lantz and Sherry Burket (Kent); six great-grandchildren: Shawn, Katelyn, Joey, Carley, Austin and Dallas; four great-great-grandchildren: James, Joey, Brinly and an infant girl; a sister, Sylvia DiNardo of Altoona; and two brothers: Joseph DeBernardis of Altoona, and Thomas DeBernardis of Peoria, Ill.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Celeste; and a brother, Benedict.

Leonard attended Altoona High School and was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran, serving as a private first class during WWII. He retired from Puritan Sportswear as a knitter. He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Altoona, and a former member of Knights of Columbus. Leonard also enjoyed sports, especially Notre Dame football and New York Yankees baseball.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 19, 2016, at Santella Funeral Home, Altoona, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, 2016, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Altoona. Committal with military honors will be at Calvary Cemetery, Altoona.