Panella Family



Current Funding Level: $20,630

Scholarship Award: $1,000

Leon Joseph Panella, age 72, of Prospect, passed away early Saturday morning, October 10, 2015, at his residence. Born February 7, 1943 in Ellwood City, he was the son of the late Leo Vincent and Anna Christina DiLeonardo Panella. He was a member of St. Christopher at the Lake Catholic Church, where he enjoyed being an usher and greeting all.

Leon was a 1965 Duquesne University Pharmacist graduate.  His career began in Meadville, and then moved him to New Brighton where he worked for over 25 years for Puritan Drug Store.  After that, he was a Co-Owner of Brighton Pharmacy for 10 years.  He considered himself semi-retired when he became employed by RPH On The Go, where he would fill in at various Pharmacies anywhere in Western Pa.

He was very social and enjoyed belonging to many organizations, and was most active with his brothers in Alpha Phi Delta National Italian Fraternity.  He has been an active brother for over 53 years and a Past President of the Pittsburgh Alumni Club.   He was a past Alpha Phi Delta Foundation Director and Past Chairman, and a trustee of the Scholarship Division at the time of his passing.  He won numerous awards within Alpha Phi Delta including the Pittsburgh Alumni Club Outstanding Alumnus was also named the National Outstanding Alumnus.  He endowed this scholarship fund in his name.  

Leon enjoyed making soppressata and homemade wine, and will be remembered for his time spent with his wife as they volunteered as Santa and Mrs. Claus at the McGuire Home for Children for over 25 years, and the Breakfast with Santa for the Alumni at Duquesne University.   Click here for a Post-Gazette article on the making of Soppressata. 

At the time of his death, he was survived by his loving wife Karen Maria (DeRiso) Panella, who he married September 6, 1991; two sons:  Leon (Adrienne) Panella of Virginia, Matthew Panella of North Carolina; three grandchildren:  Brittany, Jake, Leo; and his siblings:  John Panella of Ellwood City, Michael (Claire) Panella of Florida, and Esther (Gustavo) Pla of Cleveland, Ohio.

Past Winners: 

You can also donate by mailing a check to:

Alpha Phi Delta Foundation, Inc.

 P.O. Box 23188

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Please note that the donation is for the Leon Panella Memorial Scholarship