Albert Dascenzo, 79, consummate volunteer and beloved professor of special education, passed away Sunday, August 18, 2019 in UPMC Montifore Hospital surrounded by his adoring family.
He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Amelia Cirota Dascenzo, his devoted daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Kevin O’Neill and his grandchildren Dylan Albert and Maura Amelia O’Neill, who were his pride and joy. Number nine of ten siblings, Albert is survived by his brother, Richard Dascenzo, sister Norma Magrey, sister-in-law Constance (Herb) McConnell and brothers-in-law, Jerome (Kathy) Cirota and Bernard (Linda) Cirota as well as a host of beloved nieces and nephews.
Albert will be welcomed into Heaven by his parents, Antonio and Genoveffa Lucantonio Dascenzo, brothers Ezio, Guido, Ercole, and Antonio Dascenzo, sisters Elizabeth (Harry) Furlong, Theresa Adamson and Lucy (Vince) Libertini, and special God-Daughter, Gina Marie Furlong, as well as nieces and nephews.
Residing the last nine years in the Canonsburg area near his daughter, Albert spent his first 70 years in Brownsville. A 1958 graduate of Brownsville High School, the past Student Government President has organized countless reunions for his classmates. Albert’s love of math earned him an associate accounting degree from Penn Commercial in 1959 and moved him to his caring sister Norma’s family home in Cleveland to work as a clerk at Firestone and then Nickel Plate Railroad. After five years, he hit a job ceiling that he was not willing to compromise his Catholic faith to break through. He moved back home to Hiller and enrolled in California State College. Albert was the first and only sibling in his family to go to college. He graduated with a BS in 1967 and M.Ed. in 1969 both in Elementary /Special Education.. He established the Special Education program in the Jefferson Morgan School District and later became building principal at Chartiers School; which is where co-workers schemed to introduce Albert to his lucky wife, Amelia, who worked in the district as a reading specialist. They wed on Thanksgiving morning on November 27, 1969. In 1972, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Education in the Keystone Building at California University of Pennsylvania where he advocated for the special education child, and taught and supervised numerous Special Education teachers throughout western Pennsylvania until his retirement in 1997. Albert was granted Emeritus Faculty in 1998.
While Albert loved his career in education, his life was made fuller by volunteering. If there was an event to organize, funds to be raised, an announcement to be made, money to count, food to prepare, a hall to decorate, or seniors to get a tax break, Albert was the go-to man to get the job done right with integrity and precision. He sat on numerous education committees and held positions in various professional associations. From 1989-1993, Albert was a Brownsville Area School District Board Member who established the musical theater program at BAHS. Albert was proud of his Italian heritage and was a lifelong member of the Sons of Italy serving offices on local Lodge 731, District 11, PA State, and National levels as well as holding a membership in the ITAM. He was awarded “Man of the Year” by the Sons of Italy District 11 in 2004. His faith was unfailing as a lifelong member of the Historic Church of St. Peter in Brownsville where he sat on Parish Council, organized Church Bazars and Bonanzas, and lectured during masses. He also was a member at St. Patrick Church in Canonsburg where he was an officer in the Knights of Columbus, a Fourth Degree Knight, an officer of the Men’s Club, a lector, and assisted in the piroghi making. His love of God was as strong as his love of country. Albert served as Democratic Committeeman in Brownsville, Fayette County, and Cecil Township. In Brownsville, he sat on the Borough Civil Service Commission, Community Days Board, Hospital Advisory Board, and the Rotary Club where he organized numerous fund drives. “Albert Dascenzo Day” was respectfully proclaimed on October 3, 2004 in Brownsville Borough in appreciation of his community efforts. He never let his accounting degree go to waste as an AARP Senior Citizen Tax Aide Program director and volunteer. Countless hours were spent helping seniors prepare their tax returns as well as earn an insurance break while coordinating the AARP 55 Alive Driver’s Safety Program throughout the state.
However, nothing meant more to him than his family and dear friends. Everyone was welcomed at Albert’s to sit at the table, talk, and eat his delicious biscotti and pizzelles. He enjoyed baking and collecting cookbooks, recipes, and nutcrackers. He was most proud of the Dascenzo Family Cookbook that he compiled to share his family’s favorite recipes. Albert loved all of his family, and he will be sorely missed.
Friends are welcome from 2:00 to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, in Salandra Funeral and Cremation Services. Inc., Joseph P. Salandra, Owner/Supervisor, 304 West Pike Street, Canonsburg, PA 15317. Additionally, visitation from 9:00 to 10:00 AM August 22, 2019 in St. Peters Church,300 Shaffner Avenue, Brownsville. PA. where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM. Those attending the mass are asked to meet at the church. Interment will be immediately following in the church grounds cemetery. To view or extend condolences please visit www.salandrafunerals.com