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Library pens new chapter in Lenti's honor

Room named for champion of Edwards Library

Shortly after the end of World War II, Army Lt. Ray Lenti served in the Occupation of Japan, where he first learned about the birth of his son, David. Courtesy photo. (click for larger version)
July 28, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — For every name that's on a building, road or room, there's a story, and the library's recently-dedicated Raymond Lenti Room is no exception.

"It was so much like him to be a little reserved, not get in the glory, but be deserving of it," said Sylvia Lenti, a former teacher turned librarian in Sturbridge. "Ö I marvel at it; I don't know how he did everything he did. It was a balancing act, but it never looked like a problem for him."

She was speaking of her late father, who was commemorated last month for his 33 years as a library trustee, including 14 years as chairman and major role in the 1998 expansion project.

But Ray Lenti (1915-2003) was far more than a library buff. Residents knew him to wear a wide array of hats — and not just those he might be selling at the family clothing store on Elm Street. Over the years, he developed interests in construction — most notably being involved in expansions at the library and hospital — art, cooking, languages (French, Italian, and English), antiques, woodworking, science and even taught himself to play the organ. He also saw some of the worst aftermath of war as part of the Army occupying Japan after World War II — the devastation at Hiroshima.

About the only thing he didn't do was run for office, largely because "he preferred to work behind the scenes," Sylvia said.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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