Page 7 - CHSCA Issue 3 2019-2020
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retired a couple of years ago, is now the athletic faculty manager at the middle school. She’s also a talented athlete who was honored in 2014 with the induction into the Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame.
The track at the Pat Kidney Sports Complex at Woodrow Wilson Middle School is named for her.
The couple was married for nearly 33 years. They have a special needs son, Tony, who is adored throughout the area, said friends, who called Louis Petruzzello an “excellent” father.
Deborah Petruzzello met her husband in high school. After he graduated from Wilson High, she was at Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips restaurant and was surprised from behind. “Someone put their finger in my back, and said, ‘give me your money or your life,’” she said, recalling a fond moment.
They began dating and were married years later. “He gave me his life,” said his wife, who said her husband was well-known for his wry sense of humor. “If someone needed something, he was always there, but, if you did something wrong, he wasn’t afraid to tell you.”
Their mixed-race marriage cost Louis Petruzzello some friends because of the social climate at the time, his wife explained. “He was dating a black girl. He didn’t care — he was so proud. ‘This is my life.’ It didn’t matter,” he would say.
Louis Petruzzello majored in physical education at Springfield College. He was a physical education teacher for the former Long Lane School for most of his career, and spent two years at the now-closed Connecticut Juvenile Training Center.
He was a huge and talented
Louis Petruzzello and his son, Tony, are seen at Disney Springs in 2014 during the Middletown High Goes to the Symphony visit. PHOTO: SANDY ALDIERI
   rugby fan, who played the sport for years. He was known as an all- around “fitness fanatic,” friends said.
When he got too old to join the players on the field, Louis Petruzzello became an officiator, his wife said. He also coached his son’s Special Olympics baseball team for the Middletown/ Cromwell league.
“He is the most soft-spoken, humble person — great father, great husband, great friend. Tough as nails,” said Cosgrove. “He helped grow rugby in the state, and is revered in rugby circles. It’s a huge loss and a void.”
Cosgrove knew Lou Petruzzello since he was nine when they played Little League together.
He last saw his friend April 27 when Louis and Tony Petruzzello dropped by to deliver a gift card for his birthday. “He was Tony’s best friend. They were always together. Louis had so much
patience and did so much with him. He was a loving father and husband. Very humble,” Cosgrove said.
His relationship with Louis Petruzzello grew closer as a result of seeing him three to four days a week at the Y over the last 20 years.
“It’s a tragedy any way you look at it. The community has lost a very, very wonderful person,” Cosgrove added.
Every day of the week, a group of friends went to the Middlesex YMCA to work out, including Cosgrove, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh and attorney John Montalbano.
His passion was spinning. “For a man his age, he was in tremendous physical shape. He was always exercising. The loves of his life were his family, his son, fitness and rugby,” Montalbano said.

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