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Vitori 'pie' lives on

| Saturday, May 21, 2011

CHARLEROI - River House Cafe owner Mike Coury remembers Vince Vitori as a regular at the popular down-town Charleroi restaurant.

A few years ago, Coury named a specialty pizza on his menu — "Vitori" — in honor of the Charleroi Area High School principal who died Thursday of an apparent heart attack at 45.

Coury said he created the pizza because it was Vitori's favorite - extra cheese, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and tomato with the restaurant's own "red sauce."

The Charleroi community is mourning the loss of the beloved principal. A candlelight vigil for Vitori is planned for 8 tonight outside the high school.

"There was a lot of talk about him yesterday," Coury said of the Friday lunchtime crowd at the restaurant.

"There was a sense that the whole community is saddened."

Coury echoed the sentiment oft-repeated about Vitori - that he was a "kids-first" administrator.

Many from the community are showing their support on the social networking site Facebook, where there are two pages in honor of the principal.

The "In Memory of Vince Vitori" page had 1,349 fans as of Friday night.

Many current and former students shared heartfelt memories of Vitori.

Another Facebook page is calling for district officials to name the planned district football stadium in honor of Vitori. The stadium is scheduled to be open in time for football season.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Paul E. Bekavac Funeral Home, Elizabeth.

Visitation is set noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday in the funeral home, according to the funeral home's website.

He is survived by his wife, Kari Lynn (Zawalsh) Vitori; daughter, Danielle Marie Antonelli, both of Elizabeth Township; and many others.

A Mass of Christian burial will celebrated 10 a.m. Monday in St. Michael Church, Elizabeth Township. Burial will follow in Round Hill Cemetery, Elizabeth Township.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Vincent J. Vitori Family Fund, c/o Paul E. Bekavac Funeral Home, 221 N. Second Ave.,, Elizabeth, PA 15037 or by visiting a local Huntington Bank branch office.

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