Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bridgeville Councilman Looks Back on Years of Service

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bridgeville Councilman Looks Back on Years of Service

Article excerpt

After surviving World War II in the mountains of central Italy, hiding from German soldiers, and watching American bombers pummel German positions in and around Monte Cassino, where some of the most bitter and costly fighting of the war raged, Nino Petrocelli Sr. came to Bridgeville in 1955 at age 21.

It was the beginning of a new life for him in America and he still appreciates the opportunities and freedom he found in his new home.

"Bridgeville is a beautiful town, and a beautiful society. I am very proud of the USA," he said recently on the eve of attending his last borough council meeting as an elected officialin December.

Mr. Petrocelli, who has served on the Bridgeville borough council for more than 30 years, came in fifth out of six candidates in the last election, but he is still leaving the door open to serve as a volunteer on one the town's commissions.

"I'm 81, but I'm not sure I want to slow down yet," he said.

Over his years on council, Mr. Petrocelli has chaired the public safety, public works and finance committees.

Mr. Petrocelli, who was always good with numbers, found in them a way to overcome the language barrier when he first arrived in American and to connect with Bridgeville.

"From the beginning, I wanted to become involved in the community, and math is the same all over the world," he said.

By 1956, he had become treasurer of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Bridgeville, a group he had helped to start.

At the same time, he began work to start a successful business, Petrocelli's Custom Tailors in Bridgeville.

He had many high-profile clients. His shop made the costumes for David Newell, who played Speedy Delivery man Mr. McFeely on the long-running TV show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

The two men became good friends and as a favor to Mr. Petrocelli, Mr. Newell appeared several times at the Bridgeville Public Library as part of their children's programs.

Mr. Petrocelli's business also supplied uniforms for local police departments and for the US Airways flight attendants. …

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