Angelo C. Perna, 74,
passed away at the Masconomet Health Center in Topsfield, on June
17, 2012 after a valiant battle with cancer. He was born February
8, 1938, in Highland Falls, NY. He was the youngest and last
surviving sibling of fourteen children. His parents were Carmine and
Maria Perna, both born in villages near Naples, Italy. He served in
the U.S. Army in postwar Korea where he patrolled the DMZ for
thirteen months with his German Shepherd, Klack. After military
service, he graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in Physical
Education and earned a Masters Degree in Guidance and Administration
from Indiana State University. He went on to earn more than sixty
additional graduate hours.
Ang moved to Ipswich
in 1968, taught physical education at Ipswich High School and
started the high school boys soccer team. He was part of the
coaching team that led Ipswich to its football Super Bowl
championship in 1968. In addition, he also was the head wrestling
coach. His 1969 wrestling team placed third in the state. After
Ipswich he taught for twenty-eight years in Gloucester schools where
he continued to coach a variety of sports, including soccer and
track and field.
he became known as the voice of ACP Sports Videos and was a regular
presence at Ipswich sports events. He was also familiar to many in
town for lining the soccer fields for Ipswich Youth Soccer.
He had many passions-
his family, sports, dancing, his red Mercury Capri convertible, and
his town. He participated in many town committees over the years and
spent many volunteer hours improving fields and playing conditions
for youth sports. He wrote a Citizen’s Petition to acquire land
behind the former high school. Known as “Angie’s Field of Dreams,”
it was unsupported by all the boards of Town Government, but Town
Meeting voted to approve the purchase. It later proved instrumental
in the plan of the present high/middle school. He also played a key
role in acquiring funding to remodel the library at the former
He will be remembered
by many as their Little League, Youth Hockey, or Youth Soccer coach.
He was not only a great father to his own two sons, he was a father
figure to innumerable boys and girls in Ipswich and Gloucester.
He played varsity
soccer, baseball, and lacrosse in college, ran track for the U.S.
Army, played ice hockey with the Ipswich Hawks, many years for the
Ipswich Chiefs baseball team and later for the Over-30 Softball
League. After knee surgery, he gave up the field and became an
umpire for the league, making his last call last summer.
He was honored with
induction into the Ipswich High School Sports Hall of Fame this
He is survived by his
son Christopher Perna and his wife Amy; son Joseph Perna and his
wife Jennifer and their three children, Amelia, Keegan, and Addison;
his nephew Anthony Hashey of Scarboro, Maine; his companion Virginia
Ciolino of Magnolia, his friend and former wife, Beverly Perna, and
many nieces, nephews, and cousins across the country. He also will
be missed by his friends in the Highland Falls, NY class of 1957 who
stayed in touch right to the end.
Bang the drum slowly
and play the fife lowly. Those who loved him prayed for extra
innings, but he was called up to The Show by the great General
Manager. He played hard - he left it all on the field.
His funeral will be held
Thursday June 21 at 9 am from the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6
High Street, Ipswich, followed by the celebration of a 10 am funeral
Mass at Our Lady of Hope Church, Pineswamp Rd., Ipswich, Relatives
and friends invited to attend. Visiting hours are Wednesday from 4
to 8 p.m. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers,
expressions of sympathy may be made in Ang’s memory to the ACP
Sports Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Institution for Savings, 2
Depot Square, Ipswich, MA 01938.
The family requests that anyone who had Ang as a coach or was
somehow touched by his life wear their Ipswich or Gloucester colors
or team jersey.