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808 N Union Street | Wilmington, DE 19805

Tel. 302-652-6642



Eleanor M. LaPenta

January 13, 1925 ~ December 16, 2018 (age 93)


Eleanor (Campana) LaPenta passed away on December 16, 2018 at the age of 93. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Delaware Veterans’ Home in Milford who so compassionately and capably cared for her during these last years of life. Born in Wilmington, Delaware on January 13, 1925, Eleanor grew into the essence of a 1940’s Italian beauty with her dark eyes, thick hair, striking figure and animated personality. She was predeceased by her parents, James (“Dundee”) and Viola Campana, who emigrated from Abruzzo, Italy, her husband Carmen A. LaPenta, and her sister Marie Zambino. She is survived by her three children, Carol LaPenta (Terri), Tom LaPenta (Catherine) and Michael (Paula) LaPenta and four grandchildren, Dante (Amanda) and Zachary LaPenta and Jackie and Jason LaPenta and two great grandchildren Carmine and Camille LaPenta.   Eleanor married Carmen in 1946, and their correspondence during Carmen’s World War II service and convalescence from severe battlefield wounds is particularly poignant. Dozens and dozens of letters, lovingly stored for over 70 years, perfectly capture the anguish, worry, longing and hope felt by most American families during that time.   A 1943 graduate of Wilmington High School, Eleanor worked as a secretary for Dravo Shipyards, Hercules Inc., and John J. Pierce Administrators.  She was a star athlete playing basketball and volleyball. Her love and knowledge of sports created a lively presence in the stands of St. Anthony, Padua, Salesianum, St. Mark’s and St. Thomas More’s basketball, football, baseball, wrestling and soccer games. She was not shy sharing her opinions with referees during her children’s and grandchildren’s games.  She could also be counted on to root vigorously for any Italian player for the Phillies or Sixers. Her devotion to family, both immediate and extended, was well known, and the joy of her life was preparing wonderful meals for them and regaling in the telling of ‘old neighborhood’ stories. The family missed those stories as she declined in health and will remember her for the generous and loving spirit that she was to ‘sua famiglia’.   Visitation will held on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church 901 North DuPont Street, Wilmington Delaware, with the Funeral Mass at 11a.m.  Interment will follow immediately after Mass at Cathedral Cemetery, 2400 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Anthony of Padua Church. To place an on-line condolence please visit

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