Leonard Szczesniak, 76, formerly of Mt. Airy, a retired magazine executive, died Dec. 10 at his home in Wyndmoor after suffering a stroke on Nov. 25.
Mr. Szczesniak retired in 2003 as director of brand development at Good Housekeeping magazine, where he had worked for more than three decades. He continued to work for two more years as a consultant to the magazine.
Mr. Szczesniak and his wife, the former Mary Moran, had lived in Mt. Airy since 1972 and had moved to Wyndmoor earlier this year. They raised nine children, all of whom attended Holy Cross Parish School.
A devout Catholic, he was actively involved in the Focolare, an international lay movement in the Catholic Church dedicated to the ideal of unity through love of God and neighbor. He attended daily Mass at Holy Cross or St. Madeleine Sophie churches until his stroke rendered him immobile.
Born in Chicago, Mr. Szczesniak left high school early to help support his family as a sheet metal worker, but went on to earn his GED and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University in Chicago. He lived for a time in Rome, Italy, and New York City, and found an entry-level job at Good Housekeeping magazine before settling in Philadelphia in1972.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Mary Burnell, of Lansdale, Tina Szczesniak, of Mt. Airy, Teresa Gunn, of Wyndmoor, Maria O’Neill, of Chestnut Hill, Regina Szczesniak, of Mt. Airy, Rose Hemingway, of New York City, Anna Szczesniak, of Portland, Ore., and Jamie Szczesniak, of Wyndmoor; a son, Vincent Szczesniak, of Chestnut Hill, and seven grandchildren.
A celebration of his life was held Dec. 15 at Holy Cross Church. – WF