Charles Michael Fernicola
1936 - 2021
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Charles Michael Fernicola
Dedicated Mountainside Little League coach for over 40 years
Charles Michael Fernicola was born on July 12, 1936, and grew up in Union, N.J. He played varsity basketball and baseball at Union High School and was voted the Most Valuable Player on his American Legion team.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Ave., Westfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church in Mountainside.
Chuck received a 4-year scholarship to Ithaca College but had to leave school when his father passed away. At the age of 18, he took over the family business, Charles Fernicola Cooperage, Inc. To his last day at the age of 84, he was still managing his business.
After settling with his family in Mountainside, Chuck began coaching Little League baseball. He sponsored and coached the Mountainside Blue Stars. Through the more than 40 years of coaching, he influenced hundreds of young players. His impact on their lives continued long after they left his team. He had the honor of coaching children of his former players.
Chuck's dedication to the game and his players made him a truly outstanding member of the community. In addition to coaching, he was also a member of the Board of Directors for Mountainside Youth Baseball. In 2007, he was inducted into the Union County Baseball Association Hall of Fame.
Professionally, he served as the president on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Oil and Chemical Association for two terms.
He is survived by daughters, Lori (Tom) and Lisa (Chuck); his sister, Phyllis Tecza; granddaughter, Nicole Papasavas; nephew, Charles Tecza; niece, Michele Tecza, and his loving partner, Joyce Kerr.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer a donation be sent to Mountainside Little League.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Star-Ledger on Jan. 12, 2021.
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
January 16, 2021
What a great neighbor, friend and family. My condolences to both Lori and Lisa (my favorite babysitting job). Just found out today and sending you prayers, sympathies and love. Love follows us, no matter how far!
Donna Bieszczak
January 13, 2021
I am very saddened to hear about the passing of Coach Fernicola. In all my years of playing sports (little league, high school, etc.) he was by far the best coach that I ever had. He pushed me to be better. He pushed our team to be better. Without him as our coach, the 1980 Blue Stars would not have won the league championship. He coached and led by example.
Christopher Toner
January 13, 2021
Gosh...I was extremely fortunate to have Coach Fernicola for multiple years when playing in the Major League and all stars teams. He was one of a kind and played an integral part of my life during some crazy times. He had a special way of encouraging his players. His honesty felt brutal at times; however, that is what made him so great! He held me to the same exact standards he expected of the boys and I am forever grateful for that. I truly wish I could be in NJ to celebrate his life these next few days. I am sending all my love to his family and friends. Thanks Coach for everything.
Jesse (Orenczak) McWhirter
January 13, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. Couched for many years , gave to so many through the years . Thank you , may you Rest In Peace Chuck ! Don’t keep the Angles at practice too long ♥
Donna Pérez-Santalla
January 13, 2021
What a great man and influence on so many of us who grew up in Mountainside. He really pushed me to my potential and made me into a better baseball player. I hit 4 home runs for him one season which was a big deal because I was not a big kid. He was always after me because my shoes were always untied and I wish I let him know that as an adult I became a cardiac surgeon and finally learned how to tie a knot. He was one of our Mountainside gems and even though it’s been 45 years I still think of him and what he taught me about life through baseball. God Bless to his family, Drew Greeley
Drew Greeley
January 12, 2021
What an incredible man! The lessons he taught me were some of the most important in my life. He taught me to be confident and stand out. (That was not an easy lesson to learn in a sea of boys.) He made it possible for me to play the game I loved. He made me feel welcomed and valued as a player, even when the boys on the team sometimes didn’t. The impact he made on my life has been with me since my Little League days. May he rest in peace.
Nicole Codfington-Orr
January 12, 2021
Exquisite Tribute Standing Spray
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Charles Michael Tecza
January 12, 2021
Mountainside Legend who has forever impacted my life as the first girl to play Mountainside Major League Baseball
Rest In Peace sweet’ve made it (to) “home”

Mountainside All-Stars 1979
Anne (“Annie”) Bunin
January 12, 2021
Rest In Peace Coach ✝
A Blue Star forever
Greg Panagos
January 12, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
January 12, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
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