John A. Lepore, 78, civil engineer

John A. Lepore
John A. Lepore
Posted: February 20, 2014

John A. Lepore, 78, of Springfield, Delaware County, a civil engineer who found his life's purpose in teaching, died Friday, Feb. 14, of Alzheimer's disease at Riddle Memorial Hospital's skilled nursing center in Media.

A South Philadelphia native, Mr. Lepore attended South Philadelphia High School. He earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from what is now Drexel University and a master's degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

After working briefly as a supervisor for General Electric Co. in King of Prussia during the late 1950s, Mr. Lepore discovered his true calling as an educator.

He pursued a career in academia at Penn, becoming a tenured professor and ultimately chairman of the civil engineering department.

He was a "dedicated and passionate" teacher for more than 35 years, holding his students to rigorous academic standards while being a compassionate counselor and mentor, said his son, John A. Jr.

Mr. Lepore had a commanding presence in the classroom, an assertive voice, and the ability to balance kindness with discipline, said his wife, the former Patricia Luning.

"He loved his students, but they had to keep up with him," she said.

He retired in 2004 and turned his attention to writing a book on probability, his wife said.

Mr. Lepore and his wife married in 1959. They had known one another from "the neighborhood" in South Philadelphia as youngsters. The couple initially settled there to start a family, but moved to Springfield in 1968, and remained there.

He enjoyed lavishing his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with gifts, attention, and love, his family said.

In addition to his son and wife, he is survived by sons William J. Muldoon and Thomas J. Muldoon; daughter Jacqueline L. Navin; 12 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother and sister.

A visitation from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, and 9 to 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the D'Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall, 2811 West Chester Pike, Broomall, will be followed by a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Dorothy Church, 4910 Township Line Rd., Drexel Hill. Burial is in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to Alzheimer's Association, 399 Market St., Suite 102, Philadelphia 19106.


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