Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hagler Manager Funeral Thursday

BROCKTON--A memorial and remembrance will be held in honor of Pat Petronelli, trainer and manager of World Middleweight Champion "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, after his death Sept. 2, 2011.
A service will be held Thursday, Sept. 8, at 11:45 a.m. at Newton Cemetery Chapel, 791 Walnut St., Newton, followed by internment at Newton Cemetery.
Petronelli, renowned in the boxing world died on Tuesday.
The following was posted by Tony Demarco, a boxer and longtime friend, on Eaton & Mackay Funeral Home's website:
They called themselves a triangle. Marvelous Marvin Hagler, World Middleweight
Champion, the summit, flanked by his manager and trainer.
Technically both Pat Petronelli and his brother Goody were Marvin's managers and trainers, but for all intents and purposes Pat's greater responsibilities revolved around managing.
More than a manager and trainer, however, Pat Petronelli was Marvin's friend, father figure and first line of defense in the tough world of boxing and celebrity… a role he assumed 24-7 without exception.
Pat Petronelli, 89, died September 2, 2011 at Stone Institute Nursing Home in Newton with his wife Betty by his side.
In addition to his love and pride in the great success of Marvin Hagler, Petronellis was equally proud of his service to his country.
A veteran of World War II, member of the Blue Devils and the 88th Infantry Division [351st], he served in Italy and often recalled those days with vivid memories and great humility.
While he was a fierce defender of his country, Petronelli, like many veterans, was not a proponent of war. He preferred diplomacy, and that was evident in his
management style. Upon his return to the U.S., he joined the workforce of American labor, but soon opened a gym dedicated to boxing.
For a man with no formal education beyond high school, he went toe-to-toe with promoters, lawyers, other managers and trainers, television officials, referees and all comers who would dare to be less than fair to any of his fighters.
Although Petronelli worked in the Navy shipyards in Quincy and in construction, it was his love of boxing that eventually led him to make this endeavor his career for
the greater part of his adult life.
He was known as a tough negotiator with a heart soft as putty. He never failed to come to the aid of family, friends and boxers who needed help--whether it was a tank of fuel, an uninsured medical expense or a stint in a rehab, his singular generosity and loyalty were well known by those he helped.
In addition, he donated the funds necessary to build a Little League baseball field in the City of Brockton in memory of his parents.
Petronelli married Betty Whitney in March 2002, after a very long courtship and stroke that left him disabled.
He would tell you it was the happiest day of his life, and apologized--mostly to himself--for putting off this union for so long.
He fought valiantly for quality of life after additional strokes and in recent
years was captivated by politics and the election of President Obama.
He was a great fan of most sports and was delighted with the many world titles that
Boston brought home with the Red Sox, Celtics and New England Patriots.
He had an unabashed love of horses and horse racing from the obscure "bull rings" of
Northampton and Great Barrington to the aristocracy of Saratoga.
In addition to his wife Betty and her family, Nancy and Frank DiMella of Newton,
Barbara and Bill Struzenski of San Antonio, Texas, Loretta Pizzella and Pat Coffey
of Clinton, Conn.,, he leaves a son and daughter-in-law, Anthony and Roselyn
Petronelli of Easton, two granddaughters, Lisa and Laurie, and a great
Petronelli, born in Milford, Mass., was one of 12 brothers and sisters--
three who have already died.
He leaves his brothers Goody, Nick, Guido, Ronnie and Henry Petronelli and his sisters Rose Clark, Eleanor Walsh and Lorraine
Santoro, as well as many nieces and nephews.

(Photo courtesy Kay Guarino and Marvelous Marvin Hagler website)

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