Joseph M. Pirrello, Former VHS Principal


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PirrelloJMr. Joseph M. Pirrello, 80, died on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. A funeral mass will be offered in Our Lady of the Lake Church, Verona on Tuesday, September 8 at 10 a.m. Visiting in the Prout Funeral Home, 370 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona on Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Monday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

Born in Montclair, Mr. Pirrello grew up in East Orange, lived in Verona from 1961 to 2002 and was active in Our Lady of the Lake Church. He had a BA and MA from Montclair State University and completed post graduate work at Seton Hall University and Montclair State.

Mr. Pirrello retired from Verona High School in 1993 after 32 years. He served as a teacher, director of vocational education, dean of students, assistant principal and principal. Mr. Pirrello also spent over 30 years in real estate sales in the West Essex Area.

He was the New Jersey Teacher of the Year in 1971 and served as secretary, president and long time treasurer of the New Jersey Association of State Teachers of the Year.

He received the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Verona Jaycees in 1972 and 1986; the Man of the Year from the West Essex Unity Club and the UNICO Humanitarian Award in 1991.

He was a member of the Verona Education Association, NJEA, Verona Student Education Assistance Association, Project Graduation and Verona Cares.

Mr. Pirrello served as president of the Northern Hills Conference and president of the Colonial Hills Conference, was a member of the Board of the Daniel O’Callaghan Scholarship and Chair of the West Essex Board of Realtors Education Committee.

Joe was a larger than life personality who loved his grandchildren, the Mets and was affectionately known as the Mayor of the Mt. Arlington Senior Center.

Mr. Pirrello was the loving father of Jamie (and his wife, Debra), Joseph (and his wife, Cindy), Daniel and Mickey (and his wife, Amy). He is the dear grandfather of Luke, Reid, Michael, Christopher, Jessica, Tara, Scott, Jenna, Julia, Michael, Ryan, Taylor and loving great grandfather of Zoey and Nolan.

He was predeceased by his loving wife, Betty Ann (nee Hayden) Pirrello, his sister, Margaret Wyatt and his brother, Charles.

Memorial Donations to Haiti Solidarity Network (Fr. Jack Martin), or the Pirrello Foundation (to fund a VHS Scholarship). Checks should be made payable to the individual organization and sent to 2 Aspen Place, Long Valley, NJ 07853.

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  1. one of the kindest greatest educaters and school leaders ever! stern but caring lead by example! he will never ever be forgotten for the lessons he taught me personally and the confidence he instilled will never go away!

    Rest in peace Mr P out of sight but never out of heart and mind!!!

    Chris Segarra

  2. I will always remember Mr. Pirrello. Back when I was high school he really changed my life. Many people touch our lives to the point that they are never forgotten. He was one of those to me and so many others.
    I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers to his family.


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