Carl Innocenzo, 72, teacher and coach at Gateway High

Posted: June 14, 2013

Carl Innocenzo was a very evenly matched competitor with his son, George.

Ask those who saw them compete, for four years, very publicly.

Mr. Innocenzo, a Gateway Regional High School teacher, was the freshman football coach at Friday games and the varsity football line coach at Saturday games.

For four years, his son played for Audubon High School football teams - against his father.

Their record: two wins, two losses, each.

On Friday, June 7, Carl Innocenzo, 72, of Westmont, who retired in 2001 after 32 years as a science teacher at Gateway Regional High School, died of heart failure at John F. Kennedy University Hospital in Cherry Hill. He was a former Audubon resident.

"He had a very fulfilling career," his wife, Patricia, said. "He just loved the kids."

Born in Camden, Mr. Innocenzo graduated from Camden Catholic High School in 1958 and earned a bachelor's degree at Rutgers- Camden in 1966.

After marrying in 1967, he earned a teaching certificate at Temple University and taught at the elementary school in Laurel Springs before beginning his Gateway career in 1969.

He earned a master's degree in environmental science at what is now Rowan University in 1974.

"He had his master's, plus 40 credits," his wife said. "He kept going back to school. He had classes in astronomy at Villanova, science classes at Temple."

At Gateway, she said, Mr. Innocenzo "sometimes taught more than one discipline at a time."

"He had to put all his teaching materials on a cart and wheel it from room to room" between classes.

His multitasking wasn't limited to the classroom.

Mr. Innocenzo "had a rocket club at one time. They used to send off rockets," she said.

"I saw some of them. They were three or four feet tall. They had to have a license to do that."

He also had a paper airplane class, she said, for students "who weren't very interested in science."

In teaching them about aeronautics, she said, Mr. Innocenzo would stage a contest at the end of the term "for the straightest and the longest flights."

For years, she said, "I had two bags of paper airplanes in my attic."

And Mr. Innocenzo "also had a weather station on the roof of the school."

The students, she said with a laugh, "were very surprised to find out that they didn't need the television forecasts to find out the weather."

Besides his wife and son, Mr. Innocenzo is survived by son Paul, daughter Lisa Toy, a brother, and three grandchildren.

A visitation was set from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 13, and 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 14, at the Healey Funeral Home, 9 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Rose of Lima Church, 300 E. Kings Highway, Haddon Heights.

Donations may be made to St. Jude's Research Hospital at

Condolences may be offered to the family at

Contact Walter F. Naedele at 610-313-8134, or follow on Twitter @WNaedele.


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