Leo T. Plunkett

Penn Hills residents will no longer spot that dapper gentleman driving his sport convertible with the Duquesne University license plate around town.  Leo Thomas Plunkett, 103, passed away peacefully at his son Leo’s home on April 24, 2020.

Leo was born on September 22, 1916, in Lawrenceville, PA, to Leo J. and Kathryn Mulvihill Plunkett. He attended Peabody High School and graduated from Duquesne University Prep School. Leo then attended Duquesne University from 1934-1937 where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Phi fraternity and the co-editor of the sports section of The Duke.

Although Leo was not able to complete his degree due to the Great Depression, he was honored in December 2016 with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters bestowed on him by Duquesne University President Ken Gormley.

Leo served his country during World War II as a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Army earning a Bronze Star for distinguished service in the Pacific Theater. The majority of Leo’s career was spent working for the Army Air National Guard.

Leo married the love of his life, Ruth Mary Morrissey, in Duquesne University’s Chapel on November 22, 1947. Leo is survived by his children Patrick J. (Kathy Matesic), Edith “Missy” Turna (Ayhan), Mary Beth Paladino (Bernard dec.), Leo T. II (Mary Kay), Kevin (Donna), and his 12 grandchildren Patrick M. (Sarah), Catherine, and Teresa Plunkett; Elana, Bernadette, and Michael Paladino; Brandon, Leanna, Tyler, and Lily Plunkett; and Daniel (Becca) and Michael Plunkett. He is also survived by his six great-grandchildren Amber Penick, Caroline Leone, Rhys and Cole Plunkett, Michaela Lash, and Dierre Johnson.

Leo was predeceased by his wife Ruth, his daughter Maureen Thoman (John), his granddaughter Elizabeth Paladino, and his sisters Dolores P. Gibson and Ann Kathleen Farrell. Until his illness, Leo was a participant in daily rosary and mass at St. Bartholomew parish where he was a parishioner for 67 years and a Eucharistic Minister.

Faith and family were the pillars of Leo’s life. He lived a full life, enjoying golf, tennis, watching his Pittsburgh sports teams, reading voraciously, volunteering for years in the library at the Woodland Hills School District, working crossword puzzles, spending time with family (wherever they lived in the country), and since his 90th birthday, driving his sporty convertibles.

The Plunkett family thanks Jessica Gosnell, Leo’s caregiver for the last six months, and the staff and volunteers at AseraCare Hospice for caring for Leo during the last year of his life.

You can honor Leo with a gift to Duquesne University, Development Office, Two Chatham Center, Suite 450, 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, in memory of Leo T. Plunkett ’37 and 2016.

Due to the restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus, a memorial mass and celebration of Leo’s life will be held at a later date, but please remember Leo in your prayers.