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.
Published in The Star-Ledger on Jan. 12, 2021.