OBITUARY

Leonard Rapoza

May 31, 1931May 9, 2017
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Leonard Rapoza, formerly of New Bedford and Stoughton, age 85, passed away Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at Brookdale Buckingham in Glastonbury, CT. He was the husband of the late Helen J. (Chlebek) Rapoza. Born in New Bedford, a son of the late Antone and the late Julia (Perry) Rapoza. A graduate of New Bedford High School (1950), he was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1954. During his enlistment, Len was trained at the U.S. Naval School of Music in Washington D.C. and played in the Navy Band while stationed in Newport, RI and Cuba. He earned degrees in Bachelor of Music from Boston University (1958) and a Master of Education (1963) from Bridgewater State College. His lifelong passion for music led him to a long career as both a music educator and professional musician. A beloved mentor to many of his students, he taught in the Town of Randolph for 32 years, serving as the Director of Music for the town's public schools for 24 years before retiring in 1990. He was proud that six of his 19 nephews/nieces followed his footsteps into the teaching profession.

His professional music career began as a teenager. Len "gigged" from NJ to ME, most prominently in Southeastern MA, Cape Cod and Greater Boston, and for Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, and every MA Governor from the 1950s until his retirement in 1989. Len founded the Lenny Rapp Orchestra and co-founded the Van Allen Band and was a member of the Buddy Braga Orchestra. He was also a proud member of his Uncle's band, the Art Perry Orchestra, along with brothers Tony, Gussie, Manny and Eddie, sister Hilda, and several other uncles and cousins. Len was a long term member of Musician's Locals In Fall River, New Bedford and Boston.

Mr. Rapoza's long-term hobby was investing, keeping a keen eye on the stock market. His love of teaching expressed itself in his guiding countless friends and relatives to enter the market and better secure their financial future. His most cherished time was spent with his family whom he deeply loved, as a devoted husband and role model father and grandfather. He is survived by son, Dean Rapoza and his wife Joanna of Glastonbury, CT; grandson Cam Rapoza of Glastonbury, CT; sister, Mary Vieira of S. Dartmouth; companion, Maximina Medeiros of Warren, RI; and many nieces and nephews. He was brother of the late Joseph, Manuel, Antone, Augustus, Edmund, and Olivia Rapoza, Hilda Sylvia and Jesse Bernier. His Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 8:45 AM from WARING-SULLIVAN HOME AT CHERRY PLACE, 178 Winter St., Fall River followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00 AM in Good Shepherd Parish, 1598 S. Main St., Fall River. Burial in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Fall River. Visiting hours Monday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Contributions may be made in his honor to: The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, 4370 Tujunga Avenue, Suite 33, Studio City, CA 91604 or online: https://www.mhopus.org/donate/. Friends and relatives invited. For directions and online registration, www.waring-sullivan.com

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, May 15, 2017

  • Funeral

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

  • Funeral Mass

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

  • Burial

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Memories

Leonard Rapoza

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Barbara Stewart

November 21, 2017

Just learning of Lenny's passing, a teacher who I admired, respected, and treasured so many years ago at RHS. He was tremendously talented and possessed many virtues that made him an exemplary teacher. His kindness and encouragement gave me what I needed when I was an adolescent. Thank you for everything, Lenny. You gave me the courage to try and I have never forgotten you. So enjoyed the times through the years when we ran into one another and shared our memories of RHS. My sympathy to all who knew and loved Lenny. Rest in eternal peace, Mr. Rapoza.

Jean Jordan

May 20, 2017

My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

Donna Serio

May 15, 2017

It is with sadness that I say "Good Bye" to a dear mentor, "Uncle Lenny." Lenny gave me my first teaching opportunity as Choral Director at RHS but kindly guided me through growth in my personal life as well. He was a wonderful musician, a supportive administrator but, most importantly, a trusted friend. My sincerest condolences go out to Lenny's family and dearest of friends.

Marlene Buckley

May 15, 2017

I had the pleasure of knowing Lenny Rapoza as my High School Band director for 4 years. I have owned a music store, University Music, in Lowell for 38 years and I thank him for his influence in making me a successful musician and business owner. Marlene Sharon Buckley Class of "71

Robert Feldman

May 14, 2017

Lenny was a friend, mentor and role model whom I had the pleasure of knowing as his student and for the last 25 years,a client at my hair salon...he would encourage me to invest in the market..gave me numerous stock tips ( which all turned out well)j and just truly cared about you as a friend.rest in eae dear Lenny and thanks for touchingmgand so many other lives for the better...

bob drukman

May 14, 2017

I was with lenny at BU and later taught with him and for him when he became music director in Randolph.
He was an excellent musician and had a great sense of humor.
He will be missed

Bob Drukman

bob drukman

May 14, 2017

I was at BU with lenny and later taught with him and for him when he became director in Randolph.
He was an excellent musician and had a great sense of humor.
He will be missed

May 13, 2017


My condolences to the family. Our lord father promises that very soon he will bring back our loved ones and we will never lose them again. Isaac 25:8

Sheila Chartkoff Pransky

May 12, 2017

Lenny Rapoza enriched the lives of thousands of us Randolph music students. He was a wonderful person and a dedicated teacher. Thank you to the Rapoza family for sharing him with all of us.

May 11, 2017

Rest in peace

FROM THE FAMILY
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