Ponzani , Eleanor G. 85
Carlisle, Formerly of New Kensington
Eleanor Grace Ponzani, 85, of Carlisle, formerly of New Kensington, died peacefully Thursday, April 11, 2013, at Carlisle Regional Medical Center. Born Oct. 28, 1927, in Freeport, she was the daughter of Louis and Rose (Corio) Leri. A 1945 graduate of Freeport High School, her skill on the basketball court earned her the nickname of "Fleetfoot" on the court. Eleanor attended Duff's Business Institute in Pittsburgh before taking a job a PPG Industries, where she worked in accounting and payroll until 1962. She married Guerino "Gary" Ponzani, Nov. 19, 1955. In 1961, they moved to Fernledge Drive in New Kensington, where she continued to reside after her husband's death in 2002. She moved to Carlisle in November 2010 to be near her grandchildren. Eleanor was an avid bowler and bridge player, but her real passion was the game of golf. She and her husband were longtime members of Hillcrest Country Club in Lower Burrell, where Eleanor played on the ladies first team for many years winning the Club Championship in 1981, 1989, 1990 and 1993. She also participated in Western Women's Golf Association and enjoyed taking golf trips with friends. Eleanor was an ardent supporter of Hillcrest, where she met many lifelong friends and was active on several governing committees. Her work on the course beautification committee led to the launch of an annual tournament that resulted in new gardens, bluebird houses and other improvements. Eleanor took great delight in her friendships. She was richly blessed with a remarkable circle of smart and interesting women who shared their highs, lows and plenty of laughs during many decades of friendship. She loved her girlfriends and missed them keenly when she moved away. She will be remembered for her dry wit, her strong opinions and her dedication to her family and for having "the smartest and most beautiful grandchildren." Her other interests included reading, gardening, knitting and finishing the New York Times crossword puzzle. She was a loyal Steelers fan and enjoyed talking about current events and politics. She is survived by a daughter, Licia; son-in-law, retired Lt. Col. Chet Riley, Marines; grandchildren, Chester, Adeline and Luke Riley; brothers, Henry, Clyde and Robert Leri; and sister, Emily Martino; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband; a brother, Leno; and sister, Elvira Mucci. Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial Mass at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 305 Leechburg Road, Lower Burrell, PA 15068. HOFFMAN-ROTH FUNERAL HOME and CREMATORY INC., 219 N. Hanover St., Carlisle, PA 17013 is in charge of funeral arrangements. To sign the guestbook, visit http://www.hoffmanroth.com.