Joseph P. Lenza
Joseph P. Lenza, 92, of Pittston, died Thursday in Kingston Health Care Center. Born in Pittston on Jan. 14, 1924, he was the son of the late James and Carmela D'Elia Lenza. He was a graduate of Pittston High School and served in the Army during World War II. Joseph was an accomplished musician and spent 34 years with some of the country's most legendary orchestras, including Herb Miller, Ralph Flanagan and Richard Maltby. His father gave Joseph his first saxophone at the age of 13 and he took his first steps into the world of music under the direction of Pittston High School band director Harold Eder, studying under him until graduation. His first professional performance was with the Ben Bernie orchestra at the age of 18. In 1941, Joseph joined the Herb Miller orchestra on the West Coast and stayed with him for 18 months. He proceeded to play for other bands, such as Herbie Fields and Jack Teagarden. He then spent five years with the Ralph Flanagan band. In 1955, he joined the Richard Maltby orchestra. He served as first clarinet and first saxophone, as well as band manager and contractor. He stayed with the band until 1964. He returned to New York, N.Y., and founded his own music company, L&S Music Inc., with Tony Studd. They did radio and TV commercials. By the late 1960s, the big band era was winding down. His father had died and Joseph returned to Pittston to help run the family grocery business on Parsonage Street. Surviving are nieces, Joan Traglia, Edwardsville; Barbara Cremard Altoe, Exeter; and Maureen Cremard Harrison, Moosic; a great-nephew, Carl John Altoe, Darien, Conn. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters, Connie Lenza, Rose Traglia, Vera Cremard and Louise Lenza. A blessing service will be held Monday at 1 p.m. in the Peter J. Adonizio Funeral Home, 251 William St., Pittston. The family will receive friends and relatives from 11 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment, West Pittston Cemetery. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.adoniziofuneralhome.com .
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