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1941 Leo 2023

Leo M. Tivnan

December 6, 1941 — March 6, 2023



Leo M. Tivnan, 81

Honest. Loyal. Hard-working. Dependable. Sincere. These are the qualities that Leo M. Tivnan wove into the fabric of his life. He was born in Worcester on December 6, 1941, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, to Leo P. Tivnan and Antoinette D. (Troio) Tivnan. He was a wonderful son and took loving care of his parents throughout their lives.

Leo graduated from Commerce High School in Worcester and served in the United States Navy on the USS Kitty Hawk. The Kitty Hawk took Leo to Rio de Janeiro, through the Straights of Magellan and to Hawaii and Japan.  After serving in the Navy, Leo graduated from the former New England School of Accounting and, for a short time, had his own tax accounting business.  He married Janet E. (Sardagnola) Tivnan in 1968 and moved to Boylston where he lived the rest of his life. 

Leo wanted to be a police officer since he was a child and joined the Worcester Police Department in 1969 as a patrolman.  He served as the President of the Patrolman’s Union where he was instrumental in negotiating a work schedule that improved policing as well as the quality of life of officers.  Leo was promoted to Sergeant in 1975. In August of 1980, he saved the life of a two-year-old boy from choking.  Leo furthered his education and received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State College.  He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Worcester Police Department Credit Union.

Leo worked in the Detective Bureau for many years and devoted himself to finding the killer of two-year-old Keila Morales who was murdered in 1993.  He traveled all over the country in search of Keila’s murderer. He brought the case to and appeared on “America’s Most Wanted.” This eventually led to the extradition of her killer from the Dominican Republic in October, 2000. Keila’s killer plead guilty and received a life sentence. Leo retired from the Worcester Police Department in 2004. 

The only thing Leo loved more than being a police officer was his family. He passed away on March 6, 2023, at Heywood Hospital after a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  He leaves his wife of fifty-five years, Janet Tivnan, his daughter, Kathleen Polito and her husband Jim of Shrewsbury, his son, Michael Tivnan and his fiancé Elizabeth Mills. His grandsons Victor Imparato, Domenic Imparato, Michael Tivnan and Scott Rosenberg were the light of his life.  Leo enjoyed his yearly trips to Aruba but especially loved his many years with his parents, wife, friends, children and grandchildren on the Cape, in Popponesset, his heaven on earth.

Although Leo was an only child, he was blessed with friends who were like brothers to him.  Dick Macomber, Ed Rizzuto, and George Ciociolo were his best friends from the age of seven through the rest of their lives.  You cannot think of Leo without thinking of Dick, Ed and George.  

The family would like to thank Dr. William Crooks, Dr. Alan Chang, the Boylston Police Department, the Emergency Department at Clinton Hospital as well as the staff at Heywood Hospital for their care and compassion during Leo’s illness.

Calling hours will be on Sunday, March 12th from 4:00 to 8:00pm at Callahan Fay Caswell Funeral Home on 61 Myrtle Street in Worcester.  Leo’s funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am on Monday, March 13th at his beloved Saint John’s Church, 44 Temple Street, Worcester.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Saint John’s Food for the Poor Program, 44 Temple Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01604, the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 301 Waltham, Massachusetts, 02452 or the Worcester Police Relief Association, 9-11 Lincoln Square, Worcester MA 01608.

The family kindly requests, due to allergies, if flowers are ordered to please contact Perro's Flowers in Worcester.


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