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January 23, 2003

OBITUARY: Lawrence J. Lunardini Jr.

Lawrence J. Lunardini Jr., who worked for more than three decades in Pitt budget, finance and other administrative offices, died Jan. 10, 2003, from complications related to emphysema. He was 74.

Lunardini earned a business degree at Pitt and began work here as an accountant in the late 1950s. He held progressively higher-ranking positions and retired in 1992 as executive assistant to the senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences.

“Larry was a very competent, knowledgeable guy who always had a smile on his face and was willing to help in any way he could,” said his long-time friend and co-worker, Robert E. Dunkelman, secretary emeritus of Pitt’s Board of Trustees.

Lorraine DiMeno, administrative manager in the Health Sciences’ administration office, said: “Clear to this day, more than 10 years after he retired from the University, people who worked with Larry here still smile when his name gets mentioned.

“He made everyone feel special and he was very well respected,” said DiMeno, who worked with Lunardini during the four years he was in Health Sciences administration.

Pitt manager of benefits Nancy Gilkes said Lunardini was well-versed on personnel and benefits issues, and worked closely with Human Resources staff over the years. Right up until a few weeks before he died, Lunardini remained interested in the University and was a regular at Friday night gatherings at the Pitt Club, according to Gilkes.

Lunardini, who never married, used to say that his nieces and nephews (and later their children, too) were “the joy of his life,” said Gilkes.

“Christmas shopping for them was very important to Larry, but he was also very considerate about remembering the birthdays of his co-workers from the old days, and even the birthdays of our children,” Gilkes said.

DiMeno said that after Lunardini retired, he began a tradition of sending her a card and lottery tickets on her birthday each November. Lunardini was sick in the hospital last November, but insisted that his niece continue the tradition.

“That’s the kind of man he was, very considerate and generous,” DiMeno said.

Lunardini is survived by his sister Luana Dely and brother-in-law Frederick Dely of Monroeville; nieces Joyce Dely and Lori Kuctha; nephew Frederick Dely Jr.; a great-nephew, Brian Kuctha, and a great-niece, Melissa Kuctha.

— Bruce Steele

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