Wakefield, MA– The Friends and Family of former Warrior standout athlete, Peter Gonnella, Class of 1981, are pleased to announce they will hosting a fundraiser for the Gonnella Family Fund.
The event will be held at the Kowloon Restaurant on January 17, 2013. Fellow former Warrior and friend, Paul D’Angelo will headline an act of some of Boston’s greatest comedians. Doors open at 7:00PM with the show slated to start at 8:00PM. Tickets are $25.00 each and can be purchased at the following locations:
Wakefield Municipal Light and Gas Department—9 Albion Street, Wakefield
Wakefield High School Athletic Office—60 Farm Street, Wakefield
Jay Murphy–(978) 235-4022
Pete lost his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on May 10, 2012 surrounded by family at the MacCarthy Care Center in Sandwich, MA. Born on August 6, 1963, Peter was a 1981 graduate of Wakefield High School. A standout in basketball, he was an All Scholastic athlete and two time Middlesex League All Star and was recently inducted into the Wakefield Athletic Hall of Fame. Under the legendary Head Coach Sonny Lane, Peter was one of the top five highest scorers at that time and his record still stands for most points scored in a quarter.
Dennis-Yarmouth Football Coach, Paul Funk (WHS ’89) on the left with Peter Gonnella on the right
In college, Peter continued to play basketball for some of the best coaches in the country, including Coach Kevin O’Neill, currently of the University of Southern California and Tom Thibideau, currently of the Chicago Bulls. Peter went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi in 1995.
Peter’s love of sports led him to a career of teaching physical education and coaching a variety of different sports. He first started teaching at Northeast Vocational Technical High School in Wakefield, MA and went on to teach at Harwich High School, Harwich Middle School, DY Regional High School and most recently, Everett High School. Students will always remember his ability to communicate, listen and inspire everyone to push themselves further and to believe in themselves. In addition to teaching, Peter coached many sports including football, lacrosse, tennis, baseball and especially basketball. As a basketball coach at Northeast, he led his team to a Commonwealth Athletic Conference championship, the first time in eleven years. He went on to win it again two years later. Because of his accomplishments, he was voted Coach of the Year twice by the Commonwealth Conference. Most recently, Peter was the head coach of the girls’ varsity basketball team at Harwich High School, where he led his team to the Division 4 Sectionals two years in a row.
Peter’s enthusiasm for sports and teaching was contagious and he touched the lives of hundreds of students across the state. Peter left behind his loving wife, Kerry (Almeida) Gonnella and their four children; Angela, Cameron, Francesca and Joseph of Harwich. He is the son of Barbara (Palermo) Gonnella of Wakefield, MA, and Tony Gonnella and his wife Jeannine of Apex, NC. In addition, Peter leaves behind brother’s Michael, Mark and wife Shelly, John and Paul. Peter comes from a devoted family with many uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins, along with his extended Farese family in Mississippi, all of whom stood by him throughout his illness. He did NOT fight alone.