Published in The Bradford Era from August 6 to August 14, 2012
James M. Piscitelli,
102, passed away Saturday (Aug. 4, 2012) at the Bradford Ecumenical Home.
Born at home in Lewis Run, on Feb. 6, 1910, he was the eldest son and
one of eleven children born to the late Humbert and Anna Carrara Piscitelli.
He attended school in Lewis Run, and completed the Common School Course
for McKean County Public Schools in 1924.
He liked to tell the story of his failed attempt to enroll in high school.
While waiting for the bus to take him into Bradford for his first day
of high school, his father tracked him down and marched him to the Hanley
Brick Yard where he had a job waiting for him. To make up for that missed
opportunity, he furthered his education by enrolling in many night classes
offered by the Bradford School System.
On May 6, 1939, in St. Bernard Church, he married Faye Pascale Piscitelli,
who died Jan. 18, 2006.
The couple lived at 100 Interstate Parkway, where they raised their children.
They moved to Pleasant Street in 2003 to allow for the expansion of the
campus of Bradford Regional Medical Center. Following his wife's death
in 2006, he continued to live alone until he decided to move to Chapel
Ridge in August of 2011.
Mr. Piscitelli worked at Hanley Brick Co., True-Lite Manufacturing Co.,
Fred Ross Construction Co. in Bradford as a superintendent of highway
construction and Ready Mix Concrete Co., the first of its kind in Western
Pennsylvania. He worked for the City of Bradford Engineering Department
as a surveyor; he surveyed the entire City of Bradford and established
a monument at every city intersection.
During the 1930s, he worked for various contractors building highways
all over Western Pennsylvania, including U.S. Route 219 from Lewis Run
south to Kennedy Springs. He worked for Herkner Construction Co. building
the Westinghouse Expressway in Pittsburgh as well as the highway in Masontown.
He then returned to Lewis Run. He began working at Dresser Manufacturing
in 1941 as supervisor of the Middle Ring and retired in 1972. After his
retirement, he worked for Koch-Chatley and the Cahill Funeral Home. In
1984, Mr. Piscitelli was hired by the late Judge Brandow as court librarian;
he was re-appointed by Judge John Cleland and retired in 1997 as chief
tip staff and court librarian.
He was an active volunteer at the Bradford Nursing Pavilion, Bradford
Regional Medical Center, FCI-McKean, where he taught inmates how to umpire
as well as culinary classes, the Friendship Table, American Cancer Society
and McKean County Visiting Nurse Association. He was honored as Volunteer
of the Year by FCI-McKean in 1993. He is Emeritus Director of the Area
Transportation Authority, having served more than three decades as the
McKean County representative. He served on the board of directors for
the Center for Family Unity in Salamanca, N.Y.
He was a life member of LaStella Lodge, the Lewis Run Mutual Aid Society,
which he joined in 1928, St. Bernard Church, where he was a lector and
eucharistic minister, a member of the St. Bernard Men's Club, the Anthonian
Men's Club, Custer City Men's Club, sports director for the Dresser Doings
Magazine, Bradford Moose Lodge, Pine Acres Golf Club, St. Bonaventure
Golf Club, Elkdale Country Club, Kane Country Club, and the Smethport
He was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council #403, a
former master of the 3rd Pennsylvania District of the 4th degree of the
Knights of Columbus encompassing the Erie Diocese. He held every office
in the Knights of Columbus both 3rd and 4th degree. He stood honor guard
with the 4th degree for the Pope in Philadelphia in 1979. While master
for the 4th degree from 1979-1980 he attended 25 exemplifications throughout
the Mid Atlantic Region. In 1968, he was honored as Knight of the Year
by the Bradford Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Piscitelli was a member of the Bradford Exchange Club, the National
Exchange Club since 1972. He served as president, secretary, district
deputy and hospitality chairman of the Pennsylvania and Lake Erie Districts.
He attended nine National Exchange Club Conventions throughout the United
States. He was hospitality chairman for the National Convention in Philadelphia.
He loved sports, and spent his early years playing football and baseball.
He attended the Bill McGowan School for Baseball Umpires in 1948, and
served as a professional baseball utility umpire in the Pennsylvania,
Ontario and New York (PONY) League, and later umpired Bradford Little
League. He was a member of the Sam Benedict Football Officials Chapter
and served as a high school referee for 25 years. He was a umpire for
Little League baseball and softball. He was a member of the Professional
Baseball Umpires Association.
Surviving are three daughters, Diane (Daniel) Warren of Wellesley, Mass.,
Barbara Piscitelli of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and Susan (Michael)
Stephenson of Dallas, Texas; four grandsons, Daniel (Erika) Warren, Peter
(Natalie) Warren from Massachusetts, Andrew Warren and Drew Stephenson
of San Francisco, Calif.; and three great-grandchildren, Daniel, Brett
and Scarlett Warren, from Massachusetts; two sisters, Vera Sinbaldi of
St. Marys and Louise Stoltz of Bradford; one brother, Clem Piscitelli
of Langhorne; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by an
infant son, Robert Piscitelli; four sisters, Fannie Ross, Vincie Costanzo,
Antoinette Caputo and Virginia Sylvester; and three brothers, Steve Piscitelli,
Frank Piscitelli and Nat Piscitelli.
Family will be receiving friends from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in
the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc., East Main Street, where a prayer
service will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a Mass of Christian
Burial in St. Bernard Church with the Rev. Stephen Collins, pastor of
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church in Lewis Run, as celebrant. Burial
will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind or
the St. Bernard Church Building Fund.