'Dynamo' instilled community, patriotism in others
Frank Perricelli had plenty of energy, and he applied most of it to helping others.
One of his regular contributions to his Latrobe community was helping with monthly distributions of food to families in need through the local pantry at Saint Vincent Grove.
“He was age 87, 10 years older than I am, and he was a virtual dynamo,” said fellow pantry volunteer Dave Knox. “He was always so physically fit. He was right there when we were loading and unloading food from the trucks.”
As the final recipients were served, “He would start tearing down the tables,” Knox said.
Frank A. Perricelli, 87, of Latrobe died Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at UPMC Presbyterian of injuries suffered in a vehicle accident.
Born in Latrobe on June 4, 1930, he was a son of the late Antonio and Antoinette Perricelli.
A 1948 graduate of Latrobe High School, Mr. Perricelli served in a Marine Corps intelligence unit during the Korean War era.
His younger brother, Anthony, noted he was a hard worker, spending his days running the former Eastwood Beer Distributor that their father purchased in 1954 while also working the second shift as a warehousing foreman at the Vanadium-Alloy Steel Co.
“He was like a second father to me,” said Anthony Perricelli. “He would go out of his way for any of his friends and customers.” That included driving friends to medical appointments.
Dr. Brett Perricelli, who as a youth helped at his uncle's distributorship on Saturdays, recalled Mr. Perricelli delivering orders of beer and soda. “He delivered to a lot of the social clubs,” he said. “He instilled in me a sense of community, customer service and patriotism. He was very proud of Latrobe.”
Also proud of his heritage as a first generation Italian-American, Mr. Perricelli was active with the Westmoreland Columbus 500 organization that raises money for scholarships and has sponsored the annual Italian Day Festa at Idlewild & SoakZone near Ligonier.
Mr. Perricelli retired from the distributorship when it was sold in the 1990s, but he didn't slow down.
He was a member of the finance council and Holy Name Society at Latrobe's Holy Family Church, where he served as an usher and coordinated the parish picnic. He was a fish fry volunteer at Latrobe's St. John the Evangelist Parish, driving to Pittsburgh's Strip District to pick up fresh fish.
Mr. Perricelli is survived by his wife, Margaret; his brother Anthony and his wife, Anita, of Murrysville; two sisters-in-law, Barbara Ferlin of Irwin and Jenny Goodman of Texas; several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and -nephews.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday in Holy Family Church. Interment will follow at Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont.
John J. Lopatich Funeral Home of Latrobe is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial donations may be made to Holy Family Church, 1200 Ligonier St., Latrobe, PA 15650.