“Pic” of the Borough
by Cate Murway
“Children have more need of models than of critics.”
Parents are the primary educators for their children's futures.
Children have a right to an education, a quality education.
Jogina Lee [Diamanti], BHS ’56/College of William & Mary, and Pvt. Pasqual Anthony “Pat” Picariello, Bridgeport H.S./U of CO/WCU fully recognized the importance of being very substantial parts of their children’s lives.
“The great hope of society is in individual character.” “Jo’s” senior yearbook quote.
They provided positive participation in their schooling and education and facilitated bettering things in the educational systems in which their children were enrolled.
Their primary job now is “doing the best they can to make their four grandchildren as bright and as caring a human being that they can be.”
Jogina is a combined name of her parents, Joseph and Virginia, who was lovingly referred to by her family as Gina.
Italian born, Joseph A. Diamenti, BHS ‘24/Muhlenberg lost his life as a result of the robbery in his Diamonds Sporting Goods on 134-36 Mill Street in 1974 when he was only 69 years old.
“Daddy was highly respected, a pillar of the community”. He was a beloved Spanish teacher and a talented football coach at Wildwood High for almost 50 years.
Her Italian grandmother, Elisa taught her mom, Virgina [Klein] who was raised in Philadelphia, how to cook, especially German potato salad.
Jogina was born in Wagner’s Hospital and she and her family lived in Andalusia until she was 8 when they moved into their home on Radcliffe Street with the amazing backyard on the Delaware River. They aqua planed on a single board in the days before water skiis.
They spent many hours in the water. Their boats were dubbed “Lee Vee Bee”, “Lee Vee Bee2”, etc. in honor of their middle names. They were so proud of their daughters.
Her sisters are former educator Sonya Vee, BHS ’57 and former Lit Brothers department store buyer, Wanda Bee, BHS ’59.
Their father’s dear friend was the headmaster of the “Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth” in Bordentown, touted as an educational utopia in Burlington County. This gentleman’s wife had a PhD in music and she taught all 3 of them piano.
Jogina was not only a piano player, she was a BHS field hockey center forward, basketball forward and a softball short fielder. She even fit in cheerleading, but “not the gymnastics of today”.
With its intent to preserve the legacy of its former sports heroes, the Bristol Senior Athletic Association [BSAA] celebrated its five-year anniversary with its Inaugural Anniversary Ball at the Maltese Room.
Both Jogina and her dad are part of BHS sports’ celebrated history and they took their game to the collegiate level. The late Joe Diamanti was a Legacy Honoree 1924 for Football – Muhlenberg, and 1956 graduate Jogina Diamanti Picariello was honored for Field Hockey - William & Mary.
Local author and historian, Harold Mitchener, BHS ’56 remembers Jogina as “very active in sports, particularly in field hockey, and a very well rounded student.”
“I got a superior education from Bristol High. The education I received allowed me to go to William & Mary. My teachers at Bristol High were the best.”
Jogina was an intense student, wearing bobby sox, poodle skirts, crinoline petticoats and cinch belts. She wore her hair long and curled. “I’ve never owned a pair of jeans. Jeans were for farming.”
“My job in high school was to be the best student I could possibly be and best athlete that I could possibly be. In the summer, I was a camp counselor at the now defunct “Camp Row-la-long”, run by my father’s business associate.”
This valedictorian of her class of over 100 students, double majored in English and Spanish. “I majored in my field, knew that inside/outside, backwards/forwards” and she was qualified to teach on the secondary level and she chose Woodrow Wilson H.S.
History was in the making. Mr. Pat “Pic” was the PE teacher /football coach.
The former Woodrow Wilson H.S. Principal Dr. Francis James “Frank” Furgele introduced them.
Per Jogina, “Frank Furgele was a sweetheart, a phenomenal boss!”
Dr. Frank assured that they were a very welcome addition to the faculty. Both of them were willing to give of their time well after the academic day.
“The faculty of Woodrow Wilson at that time was superb,” Jogina noted and she happily coached all three sports on which she had played, as well as cheerleading.
“We both coached and never left the building until 7:30 PM.”
Principal Furgele stated warmly, “They were very popular with alumni and I would always see them at the class reunions.”
Mr. Pic and Ms. D/Mrs. Pic inspired their students to become educators and athletes and were very often asked to be honored guests at the reunions.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” William Arthur Ward [1921-1924]
Frank Furgele modestly claims credit for introducing these two outstanding teachers and arranging for them to chaperone dances and class trips so they could spend time together.
Their first date was a faculty swimming party where Jogina was tossed into the pool fully clothed. The very gallant Pat offered her his shorts and t-shirt because he was in a bathing suit. “I’m going home with Pat”. They discussed the state of the world and education in general. They loved ballroom dancing, the jitterbug and of course, the “Bristol Stomp”.
Their romance had begun.
Whenever Pat hears “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra, he grabs Jogina to dance.
“All summer long, we sang a song - and then we strolled that golden sand
Two sweethearts, and the summer wind…”
The former varsity football coach gushed, “Jogina represented a very sophisticated, with-it person, so cocksure of herself. She is the apple of my eye. Without Jogina I don’t know what I would have done. We just hit it off.”
“The feeling is mutual. He’s my best friend, lover, confident, the whole spiel,” Jogina nodded.
Her parents gave Mr. and Mrs. Pic the top 2 floors of their home, the home in which they still reside, after they were married in St. Ann Church in July 1963.
Pat’s parents were contractor Angelo and Anna [Imperiale] Picariello, proprietors of the Picariello’s Grocery store. His summers were spent working in construction, mixing cement and carrying blocks and bricks and often times helping out in his family’s store.
His haircut was the hairstyle of choice, the “DA” and he donned a “peak”, Frank Sinatra kind of hat and wore white converse high top sneakers.
He has one sister, Mary, a former educator who resides in NJ.
He remembers his mom as being a great cook, preparing ravioli, pasta sauce and brassiole. Now it is Jogina’s German potato salad that is his favorite, along with a layered veal cutlet dish. “It’s wonderful!”
He was a Boy Scout for 3 years and attemped to play a musical instrument. “I had the saxaphone for about 2 weeks and the music teacher said ‘Pat, I think you should go out for football’”. He was a proficient football full back/linebacker in school and he smilingly confided, “In those days you went both ways”. He also played forward in basketball and was the baseball catcher.
Pat enlisted in the reserve and served in Special Services while stationed in France for two years.
His dad gave him his car as a gift when he graduated from college, a 1955 white/black Chevrolet Bel Air that he traded in for the “first car I actually owned was a green Chevrolet Impala”.
Mr. Pic was the PE teacher for 10 years and the Bristol Twp. schools aquatics director until he retired in 1988. He carefully trained profoundly retarded, learning disabled, emotionally disturbed children in the swimming environment. Many students from other districts attended since their school did not offer a pool program.
Author Carol Mitchener brought her Bristol Township elementary school students to Pat’s swimming classes.
Jogina was a full time mom for their two athletic sons, Pat Anthony, JD [wife, Jennifer “JP3”] Pennington Prep /Dartmouth and Lee Anthony, PsyD [wife, Jacqueline “JP2”] Pennington Prep/Lehigh U. Both were strong student/athletes.
“JP1” states emphatically, “Extracurricular activities are what keep kids off drugs and alcohol.”
They are extremely proud of their 3 granddaughters and the grandson who attend the Montessori School in Morrisville, run by a woman who Jogina hired 30 years ago for her school in Fairless Hills.
They have kept their kids’ old “cool” wooden toys, no whistles and no bells for the new little hands.
“Our life is our children and grandchildren.”
Jogina brought a rich menu of quality tools and resources to the Children’s House of Bucks County in Fairless Hills as President of the parent run, board of directors school. She interviewed the teachers whom are called directresses, trained in the Montessori method and she ran the board meetings. “Montessori was my third child”.
Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori (1870–1952), the first female doctor in Italy, discovered that the children responded to the child-centered teaching approaches with a deep concentration, fundamentally shifting from the ordinary behavior of fantasy, inattention, and disorder, to a state of profound peace, calm and order within their environment. The techniques included setting high expectations for the success of students and creating discipline systems with consequences and rewards.
Jogina started a PTA in Bristol Borough, “JAWS” for Jefferson Avenue/Warren Snyder and she was the president for 6 years.
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
-William Arthur Ward
The educated entrepreneurs started investing in real estate 42 years ago, with properties on Radcliffe, Mill and Cedar Streets. Pat originally did 99% of the work needed to be done and now their grown sons do their share.
This combined venture has afforded them the time and ability to travel extensively.
Their favotite place to cruise is Southern Europe: Italy, France and Spain.
“Southern Europeans are exceedingly warm people.”
They have just returned from a trip through the Bristish Isles, England, Scotland and Ireland and had previously enjoyed spending 2 weeks on a riverboat to France. They saw an entirly different part of the country this way.
An especially impactful 4 days/3 nights trip was to St. Petersburg, the most “Western” city of Russia.
Jogina can vividly remember hiding under the desks as a child at St. Ann School, “worrying about when the bomb comes. We knew nothing about radiation then. It was a highlight to step on Russian soil”.
They travel throughout the world a lot but when they return home to historic Bristol on the Delaware and their own personal oasis, they love the Bristol Riverside Theatre.
“It’s a fine thing to have the BRT in the town. We are very fortunate.”
“The summer wind, came blowin' in - from across the sea
It lingered there, to touch your hair- and walk with me”
Italicized lyrics from “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra
Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail email@example.com
Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2016 1:58 pm
Pasqual A. 'Pat' Picariello was 81 years of age
when he died Friday, March 18, 2016.
He has resided in Bristol, for five decades and was the son of Anna and Angelo Picariello of Bridgeport, Pa. He graduated from Bridgeport High School after having lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. His scholastic career culminated with being named the most valuable football player in the Ches-Mont league during his senior year. A full football athletic scholarship to the University of Colorado then followed. After a stint in the Army in Toule, France, he graduated from Westchester State University in 1961.
His teaching and coaching career began and ended at Woodrow Wilson High School (now Harry S. Truman) after 28 years. His teaching and coaching career involved numerous positions of authority - from chairing the Physical Education Department, the Aquatics Director of Bristol Township, the faculty manager of athletics to coaching football, swimming, and baseball for many seasons.
While still teaching at Woodrow Wilson, he coached his two sons in football at the Pennington School. His sons, Pat and Lee, played football at Dartmouth and Lehigh respectively.
The highlight of his teaching and coaching career was being inducted into the Bristol Township Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach and teacher.
Retirement from teaching and coaching, Pat was able to expand his real estate investment company. This in turn permitted him to become a world traveler with his wife, Jogina.
Pat and Jogina were married for 53 years. As much as he loved coaching, the most adored aspect of his life was his two sons, Pat and Lee; his daughters-in-law, Jennifer and Jacqueline; his four grandchildren, Dane, Penelope, Cara, and Sloane, and his wife, Jogina. He said a few years ago when he was being honored, 'We do much babysitting, tiring, but that makes us as young as we were 50 years ago.' Pat is forever young, loyal, loving, and a grand inspiration for any and all he met.
Services will be held privately.Galzerano Funeral Home, Bristol