Larry I. Taren, 94, died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at his residence in Highland Park Senior Living.
He leaves his sons, Paul and Stephen Taren; his grandchildren Alec, Daniel, Cindy and Michael Taren; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and innumerable friends far and wide.
Born in Scranton and raised in Wilkes-Barre, the son of Harry and Helen Taren, he was a lifelong resident of Wilkes-Barre. He grew up in the Heights section among a vibrant Jewish community. After graduating from Coughlin High School in 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. The war was just ending, and he served honorably. He then completed undergraduate studies at Penn State University and subsequently attended law school at Syracuse. He left his law studies before completion, however, in order to join his brother, Arnold, and their father in the family business, Modern Floor Shop. He eventually bought out the flooring business and expanded into kitchen and office furniture manufacturing. He grew the new business, Modern Plastics, into a national, multimillion dollar firm. Modern Plastics, located on Horton Street in Wilkes-Barre, employed hundreds of area residents over the course of 50 years in operation. Mr. Taren successfully steered the business through the great flood of 1972 and multiple recessions. He worked joyfully well into his eighties.
Mr. Taren was married to Dolores Taren for over 20 years. Even after their divorce, they maintained a close friendship until her passing in 2004 at age 72. Mrs. Taren herself was a business owner and operated Pillow Talk, a very popular lingerie and accessory store in Kingston, PA.
Mr. Taren loved life. He was an avid skier, and in his lifetime he serpentined down snowy peaks of at least six countries across three continents. He also bicycled thousands of miles. After WWII, he cycled from Paris to Rome on a single-speed bicycle. At over sixty years of age, he cycled from Boston to New York in a charity fundraiser for the cause of HIV/AIDS. He completed the annual 100-mile ride through the five boroughs of New York City on two occasions. I was personally with Mr. Taren, my father, during his very last bicycle ride part way around Harvey’s Lake, when he was 92 years old. He remained intellectually curious and an admirer of female beauty, food, and good design right to the very end of his days.
Mr. Taren was a dedicated ethnic Jew, and he donated generously of his time and wealth to Jewish causes locally and for the good of Israel. In his last gesture of good will, he proved instrumental in raising funds for the construction of the new Jewish Community Center, now located in Kingston, PA.
Mr. Taren will be missed by family and so many friends and always remembered for his humor, good cheer, optimism, generosity and joie de vie. Above all, he was a devoted father who loved his children more than anything else in the world.
A funeral service will be held graveside at the Anshe Sfard Cemetery, Lower Demunds Road, Dallas on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 1:00 pm.
You can also pay respects at shiva to be held Sunday, Sept. 26 from 4 to 7 pm and on Monday, Sept 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Woodlands Inn and Resort.