ASHTABULA — Leonard “Ray” Panzone, age 63, passed away at his home on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, after courageously struggling with brain cancer for two years, surrounded by his loving family.
Ray was born March 9, 1949, in Brownsville, Pa., the son of Leonard Panzone and Launa (Elliott) Leonard, he had moved to Ashtabula with his family at an early age. A graduate of Ashtabula High School, Class of 1967, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1968 during the Vietnam Conflict. Ray had served two tours of duty before being honorably discharged. After his discharge from the Marines, he attended Pikeville College from 1972-1975. On December 21, 1974, he married the love of his life Esther Tackett and they would have celebrated thirty-eight years of marriage.
Ray was employed for 26 years at Smurfit-Stone Container in Jefferson, Ohio, before the closing of the plant in 2010. He also worked for Linde-Wire, Inland Container and Hall Movers and Riggers during his teenage years.
Ray enjoyed playing golf, in addition to watching sports. He was a coach of his son’s little league teams, as well as being an avid collector of stamps. He loved the outdoors and had an unparalleled passion for walking. His greatest enjoyment came from trips to parks, local zoos and other attractions with his family.
Ray will be remembered for his strength and courage, his unwillingness to let his diagnosis take charge of his life, and his great love of friends and family.
He is survived by his loving wife, Esther (Tackett) Panzone; and the pride and joy of his life, his son, Christopher and wife, Ashley, all of Ashtabula; his mother, Launa Leonard of Ashtabula; his sister, Brenda (Tom) Keyes also of Ashtabula and his sister, Joyce (Joe) Tomecko of Valerico, Fla.
He was preceded in death by his dad, Leonard Panzone; grandparents, Mines and Gerla Elliott; uncles, Bill Elliott, Roy Elliott and Vernis Moore; and grandparents, Anthony and Minnie Panzone.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20th, at the ZABACK-DUCRO FUNERAL HOME, 500 W. Prospect Road, Ashtabula, Ohio, with the Dewey-Howlett Post #103, American Legion, providing Full Military Honors.
A Calling Hour will be held 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20th, at the Funeral Home until time of Service at 6 p.m.
If desired, contributions in Ray’s name may be made to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 1166 Lake Ave., Ashtabula, Ohio 44004; American Cancer Society, North Regional Office, 10501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106; or to the family.
ZABACK-DUCRO FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICE, 500 W. Prospect Road, Ashtabula, is in charge of the arrangements. Obituary and condolences at www.ducro.com and starbeacon.com.