Memorial Page

Francis P Laganella

Francis P. ‘Sonny’ Laganella

May 20, 1942 - June 5, 2016


Francis P. "Sonny" Laganella, 74, Altoona, passed away Sunday at UPMC Presbyterian, Pittsburgh.

A full obituary with memorial service details will be published in a later edition of the Mirror.

The loss of "Sonny" is one of the hardest and most difficult for me to post. . Sonny attended every event our class has had. He was always one to say yes when something needed done.  The last lunch meeting for our Class of 1960  was June 7 at Perkins,  and those who attended were in tears, devastated and in disbelief. 


                                               Francis “Sonny” P. Laganella

                                                May 20, 1942 - June 5, 2016

Francis "Sonny" P. Laganella 74, of Altoona passed away Sunday, June 5, 2016 unexpectedly in the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh.


He was born in Altoona son of the late Ray A. and Theressa C. (DiCarlo) Smith. 

Surviving at home is his beloved companion, Bonnie L. Singer and his Special Needs grandson Jacob R. Laganella. He loved and cared for Jacob (now almost 22) since he was seven months old.  He is also survived by his three daughters , Tammy Jo (Jim) Koebler, Christina (Rick) Zeiders and Polly Jo Laganella (Dan Hoffman) ; his son Francis P. Laganella, Jr.;  and his former wife Charlotte (Moist) Laganella; nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, all of the Harrisburg area; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  He also is survived by the family of his companion Bonnie Singer who all came to love and care for him deeply. 

He was preceded in death by an infant sister Rosemary.

Sonny was a 1960 graduate of Altoona Senior High School and a very active member of the Alumni Committee.

He was a member of the U. S. Air Force Reserves and the U.S. Marine Corp.

He started his 30 year career as a salesman with American General Insurance Co. in Altoona and was promoted and moved to the Harrisburg area where he retired.  He also was a School bus driver for twenty-two years at the Central Dauphin School District, retiring in 2006.  While there he was President of the Bus Drivers Transportation for many years.

Sonny coached baseball for over 20 years in the Harrisburg area.  In October of 2007 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the American Legion at Philadelphia for his dedication and time to help youth.  Since returning to the Altoona area, he became involved in the Miracle League of Blair County for his grandson Jacob.  He also was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Miracle League, helping wherever he could.

He was well known for his big smile and hearty laugh making friends everywhere he went, always wanting to help or just listen.  Sonny was a very special person and will be missed by so many.

A memorial service was held in Harrisburg on June 18th at Grace Bible Fellowship Church.

A memorial service for the Altoona area will be held Sunday, July 31, 2016, at 3:00 pm at the Greenwood United Methodist Church, 1505 E. Walton Avenue, Altoona PA.  The service will start at 3:00 pm with a dinner served following the service.  Everyone who would like to celebrate “Sonny’s” life is welcome. Please email if you plan on attending the memorial dinner.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Miracle League of Blair County, P.O. Box 1091, Altoona PA 16603 or for Jacob Laganella, c/o Bonnie L. Singer, Guardian at 1132 Cottonwood Dr., Altoona PA 16601


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06/13/16 12:48 AM #1    

Sandra L Kenner (Pritts)

The world has lost a very special person and our class has lost a very important committe member and friend.   Adding his name to Memory, is just unbelieveable and devastating.  The last person I added was Joann (Harris) Davis, who was very special to me and now I am adding "Sonny".   We all need to count our blessings and live each day as if it was our last. Tell those close to you that you "Love Them" every chance you get.

I recently went through some medical problems and Sonny sent me cards, texted and emailed me about every other day for several months.  A large group of classmates had plans on Veterans Day to hear Tom Kerns speak and then go to a Curve baseball game.   The day of the event, Sonny called me about 8 times because it was cold and raining and he was concerned about me going and getting sick.  I then had an email from him on June  4 checking on me and telling me he would see me at our next lunch meeting on June 7.  As we know now, that never happened. 

Sonny was always concerned about everyone else and not himself.  He was always telling me how worried he was about Bonnie because she is dealing with some difficult medical issues with herself and family. Another story that shows his compassion, is that Sonny, has been the caregiver, advocate and voice for his handiicapped grandson since he was 6 months old. Jake is now in his twenties.

Words cannot express how much we will miss him. RIP my friend. crying  Sandy



06/13/16 07:42 AM #2    

Leon W Kuiawa

I am just shocked to hear of Sonny's passing.  We just exchanged birthday greetings and I asked him how it felt to be older than me. (by 21days).

Sonny was one of my best friends in high school.  We doubled for our senior prom and "Afterglow".  We always stayed in touch over the years and always sat together for the reunions.  I will miss him.

Leon Kuiawa

06/13/16 11:40 PM #3    

Marlene M Farrow (Johnson)


I was so sad to hear the news of the passing of our dear friend and send my prayers to his family.

Marlene Johnson

07/13/16 12:50 PM #4    

Darlene W Askey (Zink)

Sonny (Francis/Frank) Laganella was one of the most special people I ever met! He came with a big smile and hearty laugh and if you needed it, always a person to talk to, or a hand to hold.

I was very sick 2 years ago and I was in a hospital and nursing home for 10 months in Pittsburg.  I remember the cards he and Bonnie sent and I knew I hadn't been forgotten because they always reminded me.

He was always concerned about Bonnie's health and Jake and his Son. He seemed to be everyone's caregiver, not thinking too much about how he was doing.

He was a special person attending special things that pertained to our class.  For example supporting the Esteemed Classmates Dinners and the events of the Miracle League. By the way he was a great gitterbugger  which I witnessed recently.  I will miss his calls on Christmas and special hollidays just to wish me a good day, or just a call to say "do you need anything,"  but most of all I will miss... Sonny! A wonderful friend and a wonderful person!

Thank you for helping with the reunions, Sonny. If you had fun at a reunion, it was because he was always in there doing whatever needed done to make you have a good time.

Missing you!






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