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Earthman Southwest Funeral Home

12555 South Kirkwood, Stafford, TX

OBITUARY

Leonard Leon Scarcella

July 19, 1940June 28, 2020
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The Honorable Mayor Leonard Leon Scarcella was peacefully called home to the Lord on Sunday, June 28, 2020. He was born on July 19, 1940 in Sugar Land, Texas, and was the only child of the late Leon Scarcella and Margaret Scarcella Havens. Leonard attended grade school in the old Missouri City School District and graduated from Missouri City High School in 1958. He earned a BBA in Accounting from Texas A&M University in 1962, and was a member of the Army Corps of Cadets. Scarcella attended University of Houston Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1967. He served in the Texas Air National Guard with active duty in the United States Air Force from 1963 – 1969, where he attained the rank of Sergeant. With his winning personality and strong work ethic, Leonard was soon hired by the city of Stafford to set up its tax rolls. Shortly thereafter, the incumbent Mayor resigned and Leonard declared his intention to run. Scarcella won the 1969 election decisively and became the state’s youngest Mayor to hold office and only the third Mayor of Stafford, since it was incorporated in 1956. As the longest, continuous serving Mayor in the U.S., his 50+ years of dedicated service have been a storied journey that may never be replicated. During his distinguished tenure, Scarcella’s leadership and vision for the improvement and growth of the city have successfully lead to hallmark achievements, which include: • Elected to serve on Fort Bend County W.C.&I. D. #2 Board of Directors, 1963 – 1969; President of Board, 1966 – 1969 • Entered into Private Law Practice in 1967 and was a Practicing Attorney for 53 years • Served as a Member of the Fort Bend County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, the College of the State Bar of Texas, and American Bar Association • Served as Stafford City Attorney, 1968 to July 1969 • Served as the President of the Fort Bend County Industrial Development Commission, 1979 – 1986 • Received Outstanding Person Award from the Fort Bend County Board of Realtors in 1981 • Elected and served as first President of Board of Directors – Fort Bend County Industrial Development Corporation (Composed of 13 Mayors, County Commissioners and County Judge of Fort Bend County), 1981 – 1985 • Engaged in a six year battle to create and implement the Stafford Municipal School District in 1982 – the only breakaway school in the nation to gain approval of the federal courts and the only municipal school district in the state of Texas • Developed the Stafford Municipal Pool in 1984 • Planned and developed the Stafford Civic Center in 1986 • Eliminated the city property taxes in 1995 and developed one of the strongest and most diverse economies per capita in Texas • Led the city’s charge for the expansion of Houston Community College by encouraging legislation change and the construction of their largest campus located in Stafford in 1995 • Implemented the zoning ordinance in 1997 to beautify the city and enrich the quality of life for its citizens in perpetuity • Created of the Stafford Municipal / Educational Television Station in 1998 • Honored by the Houston Community College System Board of Trustees for spearheading the development of the Scarcella Science and Technology Center on the Stafford Campus in 1998 • Served as the President of the Stafford Economic Development Corporation, 1999 - 2020 • Chaired the Home Rule Charter Commission, 2003 – 2004, where he directed a strong Mayor / Home Rule Charter form of government that is fiscally responsible and has made a significant impact on the commercial growth of Stafford and Fort Bend County. • Directed the Planning and Development of the Stafford Centre in 2004 • Convinced the Texas Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad to install two underpasses at US 90A, and the relocation of the railroad tracks for safety and mobility in 2006 • Appointed by Mayors of Fort Bend County to the position of Director of the Gulf Coast Rail District, 2007; reappointed and proudly served as a Charter Member of the Gulf Coast Rail District

With his zest for life and his devotion to public service, Leonard was a passionate supporter of many charitable activities and other local events. For those few moments of rest and relaxation, Scarcella enjoyed playing tennis, jogging, and the company of his three dogs – Tiger, Precious, and Big Boy. Blessed with an unwavering spiritual commitment, Leonard was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church – Missouri City, Texas.

The Honorable Mayor Leonard Scarcella’s inveterate dedication to the City of Stafford, will be forever remembered by all who benefited from his decades of service. As a lifelong resident of Stafford, Leonard leaves behind many close friends and relatives who will miss him dearly. Thank you to the kind staff with Silverado Hospice Care who provided medical assistance to Leonard in his final precious days. A very special thank you to Leonard’s irreplaceable Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Sylvia Mirza. With her dedication and devotion she has worked tirelessly by his side for more than 39 years and has been instrumental to his success.

Holy Rosary will be recited at Earthman Southwest Funeral Home, 12555 South Kirkwood Road, Stafford, Texas 77477, on Wednesday, July 1, at 4:00pm. It will be led by Deacon William Seifert. In order to maintain social distancing, the Rosary will be for immediate family only. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 1, from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1501 Fifth Street, Missouri City, Texas 77489. Mass of the Resurrection to be held at 11:30am on Thursday, July 2, at Holy Family Catholic Church, and will be presided by Rev. Joy James, O.S.H. All guests to the church must wear masks. Hand sanitizers are available at all entrances and exits. Social distancing must be maintained at all times. Ushers will be on-site to assist with the flow of visitors. The church has a maximum of 250 persons at this time. For those unable to attend, the Funeral Mass will be live streamed on the City of Stafford Facebook page, Stafford YouTube Channel, website homepage www.Staffordtx.gov and SMETV Comcast Channel 16/AT&T U-verse channel 99. Rite of Committal to follow at Forest Park Lawndale’s Garden of Gethsemane in Houston, Texas, where Leonard will lay in repose beside his Mom and Dad. A Reception will follow the interment at the Stafford Centre. Members of the Stafford Police and Fire Departments will serve as pallbearers. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Stafford Historical Society, P.O. Box 2286, Stafford, Texas 77477.

  • DONATIONS

  • Stafford Historical Society

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, July 1, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, July 2, 2020

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, July 2, 2020

Memories

Leonard Leon Scarcella

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Donna Matcek Morgan

July 7, 2020

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Mayor Leonard Scarcella. I grew up in Stafford and I will miss seeing him around the area. Our family enjoyed receiving the beautiful hand signed Christmas cards that he sent every year. He was always very kind and would stop to say “hello” when seeing him at Holy Family Catholic Church or in the local grocery stores, at Stafford Centre events, etc. He will be missed so much by all who knew him.

Barbara Arroyo

July 5, 2020

I am so sad to learn of the passing of Mayor Scarcella. We would run into each other at Kroger’s, in the pet food aisle and there I learned about him and his mother’s kindness to stray cats. They both fed strays in the area where they lived and we would chat about the cats, as I also feed the strays. I will miss seeing him at Holy Family Church. Such a kind man! May he Rest In Peace.

Fay Alexander

July 3, 2020

We have wonderful memories with Leonard from childhood to adults. As our mom and dad , Dorothy and Kelly Hamil would say he was a good man.
Fay Hamil Alexander and Kay Hamil Richard and Jo Anne Hamil Machart

Jerry and Cindy Cox

July 2, 2020

As Stafford residents for over 45 years we are heartbroken yet filled with love for our beloved Mayor Scarcella. We will miss him at the track, at NNO, and all of the Stafford events and celebrations. Thank you for all you’ve done for our great city. He inspired and taught us so much. Heaven truly has another Angel. God speed friend, and leader.
Always in our hearts.

Karen Zurawski

July 2, 2020

Mayor Scarcella was a dedicated public servant. As a reporter for a local newspaper, I found him always willing to talk and share information. He always was helpful and very patient was someone who was less familiar with the workings of city government.
"May he raise you up on eagle's wings, make you to shine like the sun and hold you in the palm of His hand."

Lynda Lansford

July 2, 2020

Leonard Scarcella was so down to earth and friendly. He would stop in our neighborhood if he saw us outside and would talk to us like we were old friends. He was an amazing Mayor. During Hurricane Harvey he rode around with the police officers and would stop in our neighborhood and check on everyone. He will truly be missed, and will never be forgotten.

Sue Cox

July 1, 2020

I was saddened to hear of the death of Mayor Leonard Scarcella. It was my privilege to participate with him in the creation and building of the Houston Community College in Stafford.

The Mayor loved his city and he wanted the best for it, particularly in education. To that end, he pursued the creation of a college in Stafford. First, he helped us acquire a former unused small school building. From the very beginning, this small space was enormously popular.

Ultimately, it was the Mayor who spearheaded the successful legislative and voter approvals that allowed students to be a part of the Houston Community College and no longer pay out-of-district fees.

Perhaps most important, it was Mayor Scarcella who helped the College purchase land and ultimately build the first large academic building designed for an appropriate college environment. In recognition of his many contributions to the HCCS Stafford Campus, the building was named in his honor—-the Scarcella Science and Technology Center.

Sue A. Cox
Retired
President, Southwest College
Houston Community College

Bryce Elliott

July 1, 2020

Mayor Scarcella had very kind words about my mother when she passed. Since my parents were involved in local politics, he seemed to be alternately friend and foe in our house in the 70's and 80's depending on the issue. I remember him as a nice guy, and I'm glad he made history by being mayor as long as he was. I will pray for him and his family.

Corinne Vela

July 1, 2020

Heartbreaking to hear of the passing of famed Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella! Condolences to all family and friends during this very sad time . We attended the black tie affair in honor of Mayor Scarcella last year and he was so happy. We asked to take a photo with him and he beamed from ear to ear , you want to take a picture with me. A very gracious and characteristic Man indeed. Thank you for your service and May you Rest In Peace!
With Much Sympathy,
Lee, Corinne and Brent Vela
Sugarland, Texas

James and Nancy Thurmond

June 30, 2020

As city manager of Missouri City for 10 years, I was impressed with Leonard's ability and hard work to convert his vision for Stafford into actuality. Stafford had the resources to go in many directions, but Leonard conservatively focused those resources where they would help Stafford the most -- e.g., keeping the downtown strip together, economic development, Hwy 90 beautification, making the 1092 interchange with 90 an underpass, stressing quality of life amenities such as the HCC campus, Stafford Centre, parks, beautification, etc. Some may say that he didn't have a family, but as most of us know, he did -- the City of Stafford. RIP Leonard.

FROM THE FAMILY