Angelo Albano, 89, longtime teacher and coach

Angelo Albano
Angelo Albano
Posted: May 19, 2014

Angelo Albano, 89, a respected and well-liked former Burlington City High School athletic director, coach, and teacher who guided students firmly and fairly on and off the field, died Wednesday, May 14, at Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice in Mount Holly, where he was being treated for Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Albano was a longtime resident of Burlington Township before retiring to Long Beach Island and Florida with his wife of 65 years, the former Mary Louise Fox.

The son of Italian immigrant parents, he was born in Shenandoah, Pa., on Sept. 29, 1924. He graduated from McAdoo High School, where he was the quarterback on the football team and also played basketball.

He started his collegiate career at Muhlenberg College, but left to join the U.S. Army Air Forces. He served in Tunisia during World War II.

After completing his service, he enrolled at Bloomsburg (Pa.) State Teachers College. He was the quarterback there, too, leading his team to an undefeated season and the championship.

It was at Bloomsburg that he met his future wife. The couple would have celebrated their 66th anniversary Wednesday, said daughter Patricia Manzi. Her father started teaching in North Jersey and earned a master's degree from New York University.

He started at Burlington City High School in 1952, the beginning of a career in which he led and influenced young people for nearly three decades. He taught math, science, and driver's education; coached football and track; and served as athletic director and disciplinarian.

"He was respected by the male students and the female students, all colors and creeds. He was just a neat guy," said Matt Ernandez, 57, of Mount Laurel, a retired municipal and school administrator who graduated from Burlington City in 1975.

"He was very well-liked, always fair," said Bill DePonte, Burlington City's athletic director.

Mr. Albano, he noted, started girls interscholastic sports at the school.

"People described him as a gentle giant," Manzi said. "He wasn't a big man, but he had a big personality."

He expected effort and good behavior from his children and his players, and he gave a lot in return, helping many students pursue careers or college, she said.

The players were a big part of their family's life, Manzi said.

Defensive players who scored would be rewarded with a steak dinner at the Albano home; Manzi recalled how she and her siblings would marvel wide-eyed at how much those football players could eat.

Team meetings were held at their home; Manzi said her mother would bake cupcakes in the team colors. Each player would get a white-iced cupcake with his number in blue.

Mr. Albano was a businessman, as well. Beginning when Manzi, the oldest, was 13, the family started spending summers on Long Beach Island. Her parents and two other couples ran summer businesses, including the Tumbledown Trampoline Center, an ice cream and burger eatery, and rental properties.

Mr. Albano was inducted into the South Jersey Athletic, Burlington City Athletic, and Burlington City High School Halls of Fame.

In retirement, Mr. Albano served as a board member of the Alameda Isles Homeowners Association in Florida and as a trustee and board vice president of the United Church of Surf City. They returned to Burlington County five years ago.

In addition to his wife, son, and daughter, Mr. Albano is survived by daughters Mary Kay Comegys and Joanne Powell; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; two sisters; and nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the Page Funeral Home, 302 E. Union St., Burlington. A second viewing will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, May 19, at First Baptist Church of Burlington, 335 Stacy St., Burlington, with a church service at 11. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter, 399 Market St., Suite 1002, Philadelphia 19106; United Church of Surf City, Box 625, Ship Bottom, N.J. 08008; or Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, 5 Eves Dr., Suite 300, Marlton, N.J. 08053.

856-779-3893 @ritagiordano

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