By Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writer
The Sharpsville Area Historical Society will pay tribute to the 2013 Outstanding Citizen Honorees, Virgil J. Rossi and Angelo “Ange” Piccirilli at its annual ice cream social from 4 to 7 p.m. today in Mahaney Park on the corner of Walnut and Shenango streets in Sharpsville.
Alex J. Kovach, Sharpsville mayor, has proclaimed an “Ange Piccirilli” and a “Virgil J. Rossi” day in the borough on the birthdays of each man.
Ange Piccirilli Day in Sharpsville is May 3. Virgil J. Rossi Day is December 10.
“They have been the quiet leaders of the community,” Ken Robertson, Sharpsville borough manager, said. “They’ve stepped up and served in every aspect of their life.”
Both honorees come from service-oriented families and both are both members of St. Bartholomew’s Church, Sharpsville. They have volunteered in church activities over the years and are members of the church’s Holy Name Society.
“It’s hard to get people involved with their churches anymore,” Robertson said.
In addition to their faith activies, both men have been active in the community and their workplace. They are members of various work organizations in which they serve voluntarily.
“They are the example for all of us to follow for community service and community involvement,” Robertson said. “Sharpsville and Mercer County have definitely benefited from their involvement in so many activities.”
Greg Perrine, president of the historical society, said this is the first time the organization will honor outstanding citizens, although they have discussed the idea multiple times in the past.
The society has decided to honor an outstanding citizen of Sharpsville every year.
“Ange and Virgil have set the bar pretty high,” Robertson said. “That’s the standard we’ll use.”
The two men have served Sharpsville and Mercer County for a combined 138 years.
Rossi, 88, is a lifelong resident of Sharpsville and worked at the family business of barbering for 69 years. He worked six years with his father and then his younger brother, Ralph, joined him and they clipped side by side for 58 years.
Rossi is an accomplished musician. He plays the clarinet and the saxophone, starting out with the marching band at Church of the Sacred Heart, Sharon.
Rossi has enjoyed playing with the Carl Marks Band and the Joe Cann Band in the past.
Now, Rossi performs in concerts for the Mercer Community Band and the Buhl Park Concert Band.
He attended school in Pittsburgh and roots for the Steelers and Pirates.
Piccirilli, 91, and his wife Patricia, have raised their family in Sharpsville. The Piccirilli clan is composed of three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with another on the way.
Piccirilli has served on several boards over the years, including Mercer County Boy Scouts of America, McDowell National and Integra National banks, and United Way of the Shenango Valley.
He was a former Wheatland school board director and spent 22 years as a board member for Sharpsville Area School District, including 10 of those as president.
Piccirilli is a member of the Sharpsville’s Civil Service Commission, having served for more than 24 years.
He is a member of Sharon Elks Lodge 103 and a third-degree member of the Knights of Columbus in Sharon.
St. Bartholomew parishioners will recognize him as a lector and eucharistic minister for more than 30 years. He has also visited the homebound and hospitalized parishioners over that period of time.
“Virgil and Ange lead by example,” Robertson said. “We hope they will inspire generations to follow.”
At its annual ice cream social, the historical society will be selling 2014 calendars commemorating the 140th anniversary of the Borough of Sharpsville and the 20th anniversary of the Sharpsville Area Historical Society.