VICENZA, Italy — A memorial service will be held Tuesday at Caserma Ederle for Joseph Pellerito, the longest serving teacher at Vicenza Elementary School.

Pellerito, 70, died at a local hospital Thursday after suffering a severe stroke. He first started teaching at Vicenza in 1964 after two years in Frankfurt, Germany.

Pellerito taught the middle grades at the school and also served as a coach at the high school, most recently in girls’ basketball and volleyball. He was just a few weeks away from starting another year at the school. School starts Sept. 7.

“He was wonderful to work with,” said fellow teacher Betty Linden, whose two children had Pellerito as their sixth-grade teacher. “He had a wonderful sense of humor and was so full of life.

“He didn’t just teach the basics, but helped his students become better people.”

Pellerito served two years in the Army in the 1950s before joining the predecessor of the Department of Defense Dependent Schools system in 1962.

The memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. at the base chapel.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Rebecca and Jennifer; son, James; and five grandchildren.

Thoughts for the family can be sent to the school, Unit 31401, Box 11, APO AE 09630 or via e-mail:

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