Donald Lenarduzzi
Donald Lenarduzzi
Donald Lenarduzzi
Donald Lenarduzzi
Donald Lenarduzzi
Donald Lenarduzzi

Obituary of Donald Oscar Lenarduzzi

On Tuesday May 3,, 2022, Donald Lenarduzzi passed away after a long and difficult 17-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Umberto and Margaret Lenarduzzi and brother Jim Lenarduzzi.  He is survived by wife Debra “Bobe” Lenarduzzi, brother Richard Lenarduzzi, and sister Joann Fisher.

Donald was born on March 4th, 1945, in Green Bay, WI to Umberto and Margaret Lenarduzzi. He was not alone in his entry to the world; he was joined by his mirror twin Richard. He also grew up with an older sister Joann and a younger brother Jim. Theirs was an active, boisterous bunch, filled with sports and plenty of family time. During his formative years, Donald became passionate about golf and had the once in a lifetime opportunity to caddy for Jack Nicklaus at Oneida Country Club in 1965.  Donald was also a strong student at an all-boys Catholic school, Premontre, where he graduated in 1963. He parlayed this academic success on his way to earning bachelor’s and master's degrees in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Donald’s adventurous side showed after graduation. He moved to California, but not taking the traditional route. His twin Richard and he hopped into Donald’s brand-new Malibu and went cruising through Canada before finally heading south to Southern California. Donald began his career working at a Neiman Marcus department store. He soon realized that he wanted to be working outdoors in a more physical environment and not cooped up indoors. To address this ambition, he joined Plant Construction as a laborer in 1978. He thrived and worked hard in this position, logging a great deal of overtime and impressing his bosses. After 3 or 4 productive years, his talents shone brightly enough that Plant asked him to manage the service department. He hired and dispatched field employees and eventually became a one-man safety department. Donald knew everyone at Plant and built lifelong friendships with countless co-workers. After retirement in 2013, he continued to be engaged and involved in company events, a cherished friend long after his working days were over. Plant was much more of a community that he loved, rather than a place to just earn a living.

Even with Donald’s career success, his story is truly a love story. Donald and Bobe (Crawford) met at a hotel swimming pool in San Mateo, CA in 1979. Bobe was a flight attendant based in Washington DC and making the cross-country flights to San Francisco. Donald, working at Plant, liked to use this hotel pool often, even though he was not a registered guest. Their first meeting involved easy conversation and a powerful connection. They shared many values, both had 3 siblings, and the home lives they grew up in were very similar.  Their romance blossomed quickly and by 1980 they were ready to make it official. In fact, they were so in love, they got married twice! Albeit the first time to take advantage of Bobe’s free flights which required marriage. They “officially” tied the knot on October 4, 1980, in Bobe’s home of Mobile, Alabama.

They lived a very fulfilling life with many travel and recreation experiences. They visited Donald’s Italian roots in Northern Italy’s Udine, went to New Zealand, and trekked to many other parts of Europe. When staying close to home they cherished their time in Palm Springs and Lake Tahoe. On one of the trips to Tahoe, while riding a bicycle, Donald hit something in the road and was launched over the handlebars and into the air. Remarkably, he landed on his feet on a dead run! Donald and Bobe also spent a romantic evening sleeping on a golf course because their room was not ready. The course sprinklers going off ended this alternative sleeping arrangement. No matter what hijinks came their way, they were content to spend these times together and laugh at it all. Donald and Bobe also shared a love of giving back. They spent countless hours after Donald retired rescuing and finding homes for feral cats (including their own Cooper and Gracie). They relentlessly donated to countless charities sharing the blessings in their lives with so many others.

Parkinson’s disease may have ravaged Donald’s final years, but it cannot touch the love and respect so many people felt for him.  This shy kid who battled a childhood speech impediment grew into a kind, outgoing, and personable man who would connect with anyone, anywhere. And the love of his life, Bobe, was there with him each day to the very end.

DaVinci said it well, “As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death”

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