Cape Gazette
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Herman Martin Bastianelli, Sports Hall of Fame inductee

Feb 15, 2013

Herman Martin Bastianelli died peacefully Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at Delaware Hospice Center with his wife at his side. Herm was born in Bethlehem, Pa. to Lucia and Amedio who immigrated to the United States around 1911.

He is survived by the love of his life, Marie, to whom he was married for 59 years.  He is also survived by his younger brother Father Dan Bastianelli and his sister Timmy Daley; his children Mark and wife Peggy, Danny and wife Becky, Nancy Schirmer and husband Allan, Steve and wife Karen Sue, Ann Bastianelli-Gilkerson and husband Joe, Paul and wife Leslie, and John and wife Fatima. He is also blessed with 14 grandchildren, Jason, Eric, Amy, Kourtney, Kaylee, Travis, Morgan, Kelly, Tyler, Megan, Luke, Evan, Ryan and Sadie. He is also the great-grandfather to Amelia, Aubrey, Ethan, and Kaia.

Despite the amazing variety of personalities, talents and preferences, Pop Pop ‘B’ had a special relationship with each one of them. Mr. Bastianelli was a 1942 graduate of Liberty High school in Bethlehem, where he wrestled, played soccer and was a member of the debate club.  He went on to graduate from Lehigh University in 1949.  His college years were broken up as he served with the 290th Engineer Combat Battalion in England, Germany, and France in World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service.  After the war ended he returned to Lehigh and wrestled and played soccer, graduating with a degree in business.  Not happy working in the business world in New York City he enrolled at East Stroudsburg State College and completed a health and physical education degree.  He then accepted a teaching position at Georgetown High School.  While at the Salisbury skating rink he spotted a beautiful coed from Salisbury State and within three months they were married.   He taught for 31 years during which time he coached football, basketball, baseball, cross-country and wrestling.  Coach Bastianelli started the wrestling program at Georgetown and he grew to be a legend in the sport.  His Georgetown High School teams were undefeated from 1961-69, winning 56 straight dual meets. Later becoming Sussex Central High School, he finished with a record of 150-15.  He also coached the first state championship team from Sussex Central in cross country in 1980.  In 2000 he was inducted into the Delaware Wrestling Hall of Fame and in 2003 was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.

Nothing was more important to Herm than family.  Herm and Marie’s home was the stomping grounds for not only his seven children but also their friends and teammates.  Camping trips to many locations, with Trap Pond the favorite, were common, as well as trips to the beach at Ocean City, Md.  Herm loved to exercise, including running, biking, swimming, weight training and more.  On several occasions he swam from the pier at Ocean City to Fenwick Island.  Another passion of Herm's and Marie's was dancing.  They could be found dancing at the many family weddings, the CHEER Center, Springfest, while delivering Meals on Wheels or anywhere else music was playing, including the stage while being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

A celebration of Coach Bastianelli’s life will be held at Georgetown Middle School Auditorium at 2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 18.  Casual attire is appropriate.  In lieu of flowers, contributions to Delaware Hospice would be suggested.

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