William Emil Lafranchi
Age 93, of Longwood at Oakmont, died peacefully, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. William was born in Brookville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, on December 6, 1926, to Elizabeth Henry McNutt Lafranchi, RN and Emil S. Lafranchi of Calaveras County, California. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 46 years, Sylvia Martin Lafranchi and stepchildren Harold Martin Jr. and Patricia Anne Martin. He is survived by his stepson David Bruce Martin, of Deep Creek Maryland and two grandchildren, Talon and Summer Rain Martin-Wright. William served in the Army as a First Sergeant and was stationed during peace time in South Korea from 1945-1946. He was in the Army Reserves Corp of Engineers in both Clarion and Indiana counties for another 23 years. This sparked his love of travel, including a trip around the world in 90 days. Returning to his hometown of Clarion, Mr. Lafranchi graduated from Clarion State Teacher’s College with a degree in Library Sciences and obtained a Master’s Degree in Library Science from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. William was head librarian at Clarion Area Public High School for four years, where he taught English and speech, and produced the high school’s drama productions. He then served for 33 years as the Director of Library and Media Services for Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was named Professor Emeritus of Library Services for IUP. After retirement in 1986, the Lafranchi family moved to Wilkinsburg, where Sylvia was elected as the first republican woman Mayor of Wilkinsburg Borough. William and Sylvia were active Rotary Club members and board members for the Wilkinsburg Boys & Girls Club. William also has served as president on both the Clarion and Indiana County Public Library Boards and was co-founder and an active volunteer with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program in Indiana. In 2005, the couple moved to the Longwood at Oakmont Retirement Community. In addition to traveling, Will’s other hobbies included his voracious appetite for reading and research, and maintaining active correspondence with a myriad of students, family, and colleagues. Will continually supported the Historical Societies of Clarion County, Pennsylvania, Calvareras County, California, and Sheldon County, Iowa. Recently a scholarship fund for nursing students has been created through the Pittsburgh Foundation in honor of his mother Elizabeth McNutt Lafranchi, a surgical room nurse, who also served in WWI as a Red Cross Nurse and U.S. Navy nurse from 1918-1919. Arrangements are private and entrusted to English Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 378 Maryland Ave., Oakmont, PA 15139. A Memorial Service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to one of the many charities supported by the Lafranchi family or to the charity of one’s choice.
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