Obituary of Gerard Raschella
Gerard Philip Vincent Raschella of Westport died Oct. 6, 2019 (his birthday) after a brief illness at Norwalk Hospital. He was 89.
Born in 1930 in Brooklyn, New York, he was raised in the Borough Park section by his parents, Vincent and Josephine and four siblings, Nick, Bruno, John and Carmine.
He attended Technical Aviation High School in Manhattan, soloing as a student pilot at age 15. He went on to study film and television at Columbia University.
A gifted singer, his talent came to the attention of Irving Berlin and other music industry professionals in the 1940s. However, he pursued a career in broadcasting.
Nominated multiple times for Emmys and winning other broadcasting awards during his 40-year career at NBC-TV in New York, he retired and was locally active in volunteering, local Catholic church communities, the Westport Y’s Men, gardening, table tennis and his lifelong love — photography.
In 1949, known as “Jerry” to his family, he met Blanche Ferrone of Brooklyn Heights. Joining her family, he moved to Westport, following their marriage in 1954 and his active duty service with the U.S. Navy.
They raised one daughter, Janet. Following 53 years together as husband and wife, Blanche died in 2007.
In 2012, he married Armelle Penta, a Stamford music teacher and professional singer, formerly of Schenectady, New York.
Also known as Gary, to his second wife and many of their friends, he is survived by her and his daughter, two sisters-in-law from his first marriage, 17 nieces and nephews and his beloved four-legged-pal, Bookie.
He will be remembered forever and by all, for his kindness, generosity and indomitable spirit.
Interment will be held Tuesday, October 15, 2019 in a private ceremony at Willowbrook Cemetery. A series of Catholic masses are being planned and an online memorial podcast is in current production.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, online at gaylord.org/support-gaylord/Make-a-Gift.