Obit: Matthew F. Cendoma
At the age of 92, Matthew F. Cendoma (known lovingly as Opa), died at Manor Care South on May 7, 2017, and journeyed on to rest in eternal peace with his beautiful wife of 67 years, Gloria. His family extends heartfelt gratitude to the MCS staff for their care during his residency.
He was predeceased by his parents, Michael and Antonetta Cendoma, and his eldest brother, Emanuel. He is survived by his siblings, Theresa Lomison, James Cendoma, Rosie Fagnano, his children, Cynthia (Bob), Matthew, Trish (John), Antoinette, his grandchildren, Prudence, Gabriel, Sarah (Mike), Danny, and his two great-grandchildren, Bella and Domanick. A Williamsport native,
Matthew enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. Private Cendoma then bravely and honorably served in WWII during 1944-45 as a demolitions specialist in Europe, where he helped to liberate the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He returned home where he “literally bumped into the best thing that ever happened to him” while walking down Pine St. In 1947, he married his “Rosie the Riveter” and love of his life, Gloria Casale. Matthew attended Lycoming College on the G.I. Bill, graduated in 1951, and dedicated himself to supporting his growing family by obtaining his real estate brokers license.
He started his own company, STAR Real Estate, and was the owner of the Skylight Motel in Linden, PA. He lived his life exemplifying the values of the “Greatest Generation” through his commitment to his community. He made a point to stay current on all aspects of governance and to contribute to it every chance he got because “it is the right thing to do.” Matthew took pride more in the accomplishments of others than he did in his own, even though he was hard-working, resourceful, and could literally “sell ice cubes to Eskimos” with his acute business-savvy.
But whether it was picnics at Worlds End, family outings to NYC, to the ocean, or to the Southwest, or taking one of his grandchildren fishing, he always balanced work with the most meaningful thing in his life, his family. This was most evident at the evening meal when he would sit at the head of the table, break a fresh loaf of Italian bread, and talk with his family about the events of the day. As a family man, Opa was devoted, loving, and strived to make each person in his life feel their importance. Above all, in everything he undertook or encountered in his life, Matthew Cendoma always gave 100% effort. Said of him by loved ones: he was proud of his Italian heritage; he was a sharp dresser and took pride in his appearance through his final days; he had a way with words, but always spoke with real, heartfelt sincerity; and his strength and courage is reflected in the words of so many who felt “he was my hero.”
Please join us to celebrate his heroic life. A memorial will be held on Thursday, May 18, at 11:00am-Noon at Crouse Funeral Home, 133 E 3rd St., Williamsport, PA 17701. Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Cendoma will be laid to rest together in a shared urn at Wildwood Cemetery immediately following. A military graveside salute will take place in his honor at the cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be made to the Lycoming County Democratic Committee, c/o Steve Muthler, LCDC Treasurer, PO Box 34, Antes Fort, PA 17720 in Matthew Cendoma’s memory, and in his civic honor, please go vote on May 16th. Peace be with you all.