Two patriarchs of the West Orange Police Athletic League , Vincent Albanese and Donato Parisi, passed away this week.
Vincent Albanese, fondly known as "Mr. Albanese" by hundreds of kids over the years, passed away on Friday, August 3, at the age of 89. Mr. Albanese volunteered his time for over 37 years to West Orange PAL, serving as its executive director, coordinating the football, baseball, and cheerleading programs. The PAL Baseball Field is dedicated in his honor, and was named the 'Vincent G. Albanese PAL Sports Complex." Numerous honors and recognitions were given to Mr. Albanese over the years, such as the West Orange Elks "Man of the Year" award, induction into the West Orange Athletic Hall of Fame, the Orange/West Orange Chapter of UNICO Sports Award, West Orange Recreation REC Achievement Award, and the Essex County Chapter of the National Football Foundation "Contributor to Amateur Football Award." He is survived by his devoted daughter, June, and her husband, Peter Caporaso, along with many cousins, nieces and nephews, and all his "PAL Kids."
Donato "Dan" Parisi, formerly of West Orange, passed away on Monday, July 30, at the age of 77. Mr. Parisi served as a volunteer assistant director of the West Orange PAL for over 30 years. His awards for years of service and outreach to the youth of West Orange included the Ben L. Spinelli Award from the West Orange Chapter of UNICO, the Silver PBA Card from the WOPBA, and the Rec Achievment Award from the WO Rec Department. He is survived by his wife, Connie; his children, Linda Larkin and her husband Jimmy; Danny Parisi and his wife MaryAnn; Carol Berrellez and Victor, Mayor Robert Parisi and his wife, Sheila, and his brother, Louis Parisi. He is also survived by granchildren Jimmy, Michael, Brian, Matthew, Jack, Patrick, Daniel, Kelly, Robert, Bianca, Austin and Alexandra.
The PAL Organization reacted to the loss of Mr. Albanese and Mr. Parisi with the following statement:
It is with great sadness that the PAL family acknowledges the loss of two great men who gave so much to the PAL and the town of West Orange. Mr. Parisi and Mr. Albanese were dedicated men who unselfishly gave their time and lives to help the youth of our town. Their volunteer efforts continued up until this year. Mr. Parisi was at the PAL baseball field serving in the kitchen as he has done for many many years while Mr. Albanese sat in on Football signups telling stories of his PAL kids.
As the administration of the PAL talk of these two men there is conflict in our voices and our hearts. While it is sad to see these men depart from our lives physically, it is hard not to smile at the memories and the experiences they have given us. They will be missed, but they will never be forgotten. The memory of Mr. Albanese and Mr. Parisi will always be honored as the PAL continues to teach the youth of our town athletics, discipline and respect.
So we say good bye to Mr. Abanese and Mr. Parisi, but you will always be with us.
Memorial donations may be made to West Orange PAL, PO Box 71 TCB, West Orange, NJ.