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George Berardi 1924 - 2011

Posted by John Berardi on Jun 26 2012 at 05:00PM PDT in 2019
George J. Berardi of Woburn, a well-known Woburn resident who was involved in a host of sports and civic organizations throughout his life, passed away Wednesday evening, August 31, 2011 at the age of eighty-seven. He was the beloved husband of Ann H. (DiCenzo) Berardi for over sixty-four years.

Born and raised in the South End of Woburn, son of the late Joseph and Sarah (Vasapoli) Berardi, he lived his entire life in the old homestead built by his father. He played semi-pro baseball in the 1940's and was a proud veteran of World War II, having served active duty in the Coast Guard aboard the USS El Paso in the South Pacific and North African seas. Following his honorable discharge, he worked at Beggs and Cobb Tannery in Winchester. George later went to work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a Review Appraiser in the Highway Department, retiring in 1989. Following his retirement he served for a time with the Woburn Board of Assessors part-time in an administrative role.

In 1947, George and Ann were married, and recently celebrated sixty-four wonderful years together. Their family grew to include seven children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He became involved in Little League as a volunteer umpire in 1952, including various regionals and eventually umpired the Little League World Series. He went on to become District Administrator in 1959 and was appointed State Director of Little League for Massachusetts in 1969, where he oversaw all state tournaments and the operation of the State Little League organization, positions which he held until his passing. He served on the Little League National Board of Directors and hosted the Little League International Congress in Boston in 1992. In 2010, George was honored at the 25th International Congress held in Lexington, Kentucky for his 50 years as a District Administrator one of only 2 individuals in the history of the Little League program to achieve that distinction. He earned numerous other awards, including the Massachusetts Veterans Award in 1974 for his service to youth baseball and the Brad Jernegan Award from the BoSox Club in 1992.

His involvement in baseball extended to the professional level, where he scouted with several Major League teams including the Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Pilots, Montreal Expos and Philadelphia Phillies. George, along with Rico Petrocelli and Mike Andrews, were founders of the Little League Jimmy Fund program, which has raised over $3 million dollars for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He also served as a past member of the Jimmy Fund Council. George was a Charter member, past President, and current Board member of the BoSox Club. Originally nominated to the BoSox Club by former Red Sox P.R. Director Bill Crowley, George helped to handle the media crush when the Red Sox made the playoffs and reviewed and answered all requests for tickets from groups of handicapped persons, as well as raising the money to pay for them by raffling autographed baseballs.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a longtime member, serving multiple board positions and several terms as President, of the South End Italian Club. A member and past President of the St Francis retret guild. A devout parishioner of St. Charles Church, he was a lector for many years and a member of the St. Charles Parish Finance Council.

Although he gave so much of himself to others, his family was his pride and joy. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who was always there to listen and give advice to guide his family through life. He supported them unconditionally and celebrated all of their accomplishments, but when they did something wrong, was the first to let them know. He loved to see his family spend time together and would bring all his grandchildren to family days at Fenway, BoSox luncheons, the little League World Series, and Red Sox games. Through his own actions, he set an example of living honestly, acting fairly, and remaining humble. Most importantly, family always came first.

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