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Funeral service on Monday, Feb. 26 for Gennaro Chiapparelli, father of the Maryland wrestling Chiapparellis



A funeral service will be held Monday, Feb. 26 for Gennaro "Jerry" Chiapparelli, 72, the father of the Maryland wrestling family which included NCAA champion Rico Chiapparelli and his brother Lou, both who competed at the Univ. of Iowa.

Services: Monday, March 6th 2006
Viewing: 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM
Services: 2:15 p.m.
Burial: Immediately after Services

Joseph N Zannino Jr. Funeral Home
263 S Conkling St
Baltimore, Maryland 21224
Phone: (410) 327-4220

Obituary in the Baltimore Sun
CHIAPPARELLI, Gennaro On February 26, 2006, GENNARO "Jerry" CHIAPPARELLI, age 72, in Bakersfield, CA.; beloved son of Matilda Veronica Chiapparelli and the late Jerry Chiapparelli; loving father of Louis R. Chiapparelli & wife Darlene and Rico Chiapparelli; devoted grandfather of Marisol and Leah and dear great-grandfather of Luca Alexander; devoted brother of Caroline Gramil, Richard Chiapparelli and the late Louis Chiapparelli. Also survived by loving nieces and nephews. A Visitation will be held at the family owned JOSEPH N. ZANNINO, JR. FUNERAL HOME, 263 S. Conkling St., (at Gough), on MONDAY, MARCH 6, from 12 noon to 2 P.M. A Prayer Service will follow at the funeral home at 2:15 P.M. Interment Oak Lawn Cemetery.

The following article about Jerry Chiapparelli was written by Ron Reider

Gennaro "Jerry" Chiapparelli
Thursday, March 9th 1933 - Sunday, February 26th 2006

On Sunday night, as I watch the closing of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, I reminisce all the good memories of "fair-play", great sportsmanship, and international competition without politics. It is an exceptional roller coaster of emotions. Coincidentally, on the closing of the Olympics in Italy is the closing of life of one of Baltimore's favorite Italian-Americans, Gennaro "Jerry" Chiapparelli.

Mr. Chip was well known to most as the father to "Cool" Lou & Rico "the Baltimore Butcher". But, he was much more! He loved the sport of wrestling. As far as I know, he never wrestled. He was a quality running back for Alabama State's football team. When his kids started wrestling in the Maryland Junior Wrestling League at Perry Hall High School, Mr. Chip was their #1 supporter & father. He got hooked, line & sinker with wrestling. He was always there; practices, matches, tournaments and fund raisers. He always found time to support wrestling.

This is when I got to know Mr. Chip. He managed to open the doors at Perry Hall High School during the summer days for us to use the wrestling room. But in the long run - he opened many doors to relationships and developments both on and off the mat. Bill Bley was the Jr. League coach and the 1st coach for Mr. Chip's boys. Mr. Chip and Bill were always there. Just havin' FUN! No real organization. No sign-up sheet. No penalty for being late or leavin' early. No fees, waivers, insurance or weigh-ins! Just FUN! But improve, learn and/or teach. Like Outback Steak House (a favorite of Chips) "No Rules - Just Right"! He kept things simple.

The door was open to ALL. So, Tom DiCarlo (Golden Ring's Jr. League Coach), a bunch of former Perry Hall High Schoolers, some college guys from Essex and myself (Ron Reider, Overlea's Jr. League Coach) would just show up. There were the Johnson brothers; Robbie, Gibbes & Keito. The local scrappy kids; Kirk Salvo, Mike Clemens, Pete Ireland, the Malinowski's and more.

No one had much of anything, except the desire to improve. Mr. Chip was the quiet backbone. He encouraged, he supported, he organized and he drove that old red van wherever, we needed to go! When Maryland ran out of competition he drove his kids and others to Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and eventually Iowa for the Junior Nationals!

After his kids were past high school, when most parents move away from the sport or at least that level, Mr. Chip strived for a better organization in the state of Maryland. So, he opened the door one more time. This time it was the door to his house. With a hot fire blazing in the fireplace and a couple of pizzas from Pizza Johns (a favorite of Chips) we laid the foundation for the Maryland State Wrestling Association. Desi McNelis, Haswell Franklin, a few others and I developed the MSWA to support both wrestlers and parents like Mr. Chip so they would not have to "do it alone"!

Today, anytime a top notch wrestler rises to the level of greatness, they are always compared to one of the Chiapparelli brothers. Mack Lewnes is currently compared to Lou. "Who's the Best???" Mr. Chip would say "It doesn't really matter; it's the discussion that's important."

Unfortunately, Mr. Chip succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. This disease confuses the brain and then robs the memory of precious treasures. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Back to the Olympics. If Mr. Chip had the opportunity to view the Games, he would have been outspoken! "Who do these athletes think they are?" "How could a skier say: he 'partied' one night but was OK to compete the next day?" "They should perform 1st and let their results do the talking" "He's a bum!". So, today as I listen to the commentators like Bob Costas and Jim Lampley. They had numerous comments about the attitude of many of the athletes. Not dedicated, just having fun, show boating and commercializing themselves. Well, Mr. Chip has been communicating a message of good sportsmanship his whole life. That is why his boys are the way they are. It's one of the reasons why the Maryland State Wrestling Association exists. It's because the messages Mr. Chip spoke and believed. Mr. Chip would have applauded many of the commentaries that dealt with "shenanigans".

Mr. Chip never held a position within the MSWA but he was present in many ways. His soft spoken words were real and honest. His kidding was constructive. It felt like an honor to be in his presence. He was loved wherever he traveled. From Dan Gable, to my mother, my daughter, his neighbor in Perry Hall and folks in Iowa. We loved him because he was always the same pleasant predictable, happy-to-see-you, appreciative spirit.

Well Mr. Chip guess what: "We appreciated you"

Thank you for all that you stood for.

Thank you for all that you have given us.

Thank you for the doors you opened.

I am sure there will be an open door waiting for you in Heaven.

-- Ron Reider


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