Larry Lepre of Palm Coast, Florida, (formerly of Bergenfield, NJ) passed away on December 7, 2012 at the age of 94, surrounded by his family.
Castrenze Lepre (Larry Lepre) was born on November 28, 1918 in Palermo, Sicily. Larry was the second son of Ignazio and Carmela Lepre He emigrated to the U.S. with his family, arriving at Ellis Island in May of 1920. He was raised in New York City with his three siblings, Joseph, Anthony, and Mary. After graduating from Jamaica High School, he became an American citizen in 1939.
Larry entered the U.S. Army in 1941, serving in the 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, through 1945 as a Sergeant, Message Center Chief. During his tour of duty, he received numerous decorations including the Amerian Defense Service Medal, European Theater of Operations Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge and Good Conduct Medal. He also received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
After his discharge, he was elected Post Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1059 in Jamaica, New York where he met his future wife, Dorothy Renz. Larry and Dorothy eloped and married at the Little Church Around the Corner in New York City. They went on to raise three children, Richard, Leslie, and Christopher in Bergenfield, NJ.
Professionally, Larry had a 47 year career in the construction industry, rising from carpenter to concrete subcontractor and, eventually, general contractor. He constructed multiple commercial projects in Northern New Jersey as head of the Albert P. Schmidt Construction Company, a division of McBride Enterprises in Franklin Lakes.
Upon his retirement at the age of 72, he married Alice Kihn who became both wife and international travel partner for the next 19 years.
Larry is survived by his wife Alice, children Richard, Leslie, and Christopher and grandchildren Anthony, Katie, Helena and Joseph, as well as stepchildren Marguerite Lucas, Nancy Kihn Glassman, and Mitchell Kihn, step-grandchildren Jessica, Aileen, Cara, Allison, Anna, Leah, Naomi, and great-stepgrandchildren Griffin and Madelyn Alice.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Wounded Warriors Project at www.woundedwarriors.org