Dominic 'Dom' Ferrara

Published on Friday, 2 October 2020 17:43

 

Dominic “Dom” Ferrara, star athlete and legendary Hall of Fame High School Coach, passed peacefully in his sleep during the early hours of August 27, 2020, of Covid 19, at the age of 80, in Tucson, AZ.

Born in New Haven, CT, to Elvira “Vera” and John M. Ferrara, March 21, 1940, he was preceded in death by his parents and his son, John Charles Ferrara.

Dom will be immensely missed by his loving wife, Maryann; his beloved daughter Kimberly (Billy Quealy); his daughter-in-law Noelle (Alan Bisson), and his pride and joy, his grandchildren; Jason (Whitney) Quealy, Garrett (Kara) Quealy, Kayla and Andrew Quealy; Lisa (Jay) Ferrara, Heather and John Dominic Ferrara, as well as his great-grandchildren; John Jay Ferrara, Makenna and Dakota Quealy, Jude Charles Foster, and Aurora Quealy. Dom is also survived by his loving sisters; Elizabeth “Betty” Ferrara, Camille (Bill ) Tolento, and Patricia (Bob Diglio) Ferrara; his nieces Dawn Diglio, Kelsie Cunha, Maria ( Chris ) Noonan and sons Chandler and Mason; his sister and brother- in -law Kathy and the Reverend Dick Oberg and their children Eric (Tony) and Peter Oberg, Kerstin (Tony) Guarnaccia; a special cousin Joe (Dan) Finoia; his “nephews” Scott (Jenna) and John (Carlie) Gianninoto, God children Nicole Wight Kershaw, John “JJ” Sayers, along with other cousins, as well as many dear friends from the East to West coast, from Skyline Country Club in Tucson, AZ, and the many players, coaches, and referees whose lives were touched by Coach Dom.

Maryann wishes to especially acknowledge and lovingly thank Tom and Lynn Gianninoto, of Tucson, for their loving support, friendship, and care at this most difficult time. They are our Tucson Family!

The Pride of New Haven, CT, Dom’s superior athletic abilities were honed in the playgrounds and parks of his birth city, especially excelling in baseball and basketball. While at Wilbur Cross High School Dom pitched a no hitter against the Yale University freshman team, as well as a no hitter while playing in the Babe Ruth league. But it was his excellence in basketball under Coach Sal “Red” Verderame, that Dom became known as the “Little General.” As point guard, he brought Wilbur Cross to league and state championships and was named MVP. Dom was also named to the Class A First Team All-State. He always felt his greatest accomplishment as a player was directing Cross to an undefeated season, culminating in defeating Sommerville, MA, at the Boston Garden, to win the New England Championship in 1958. The City of New Haven, along with many other accolades, gave a Victory Parade through the streets of downtown with hundreds of family, friends, fans, and well- wishers in attendance. After graduation from Wilbur Cross High School, Dom attended Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA. He transferred to the University of Bridgeport, CT, continued to play basketball for the Purple Knights, and graduated with a BS degree. Dom received his Masters degree from Central CT State University. Dom began his teaching career in Ridgefield, CT. Dom’s love and expertise for basketball naturally brought him to coaching. In 1966, Dom was named Athletic Director and head varsity baseball and basketball coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, New Britain, CT. During his 6-year tenure, he twice led the basketball team to the State Championship Finals, putting Aquinas and the “Kelsey Street Coliseum” on the map as a basketball powerhouse for years to come. Dom also coached the New Britain Nets of the New England Basketball Association semi-pro team. After Aquinas, he coached at New Britain’s Pulaski High School for 6 more years and led the Generals to a State Championship Final game as well. Dom was the first high school coach in CT to bring two different teams to the State Championship finals. Well known for his team’s defenses, and as a program builder, Dom was recruited to Windsor, CT, where he coached for 11 years. He succeeded in taking that team to it’s first conference title in 34 years, filling the gym many, many times to capacity with fans, once again building a program which allowed for great continued success on the state level. Dom continued teaching, took some time off from coaching, and then resumed coaching at Wolcott High School, then as a volunteer assistant/consultant to Stan Glowiak at New Britain High School, and then finally with Herb Kenney at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, for 4 more years. Dom has received great recognition over the years. He felt particularly honored to be a member of the CT. High School Coaches Hall of Fame (CHSCA). In addition, Dom is a member of the New Britain Sport Hall of Fame, the Wilbur Cross High School Hall of Fame, the New England Sports Hall of Fame and the New Haven Tap-Off Club Hall of Fame. After retirement, Dom and Maryann traveled extensively all over the USA, going cross country 11 times, as well as Europe, the Baltic, and St. Petersburg - Italy being Dom’s favorite. Memories of attending the college basketball Final Fours, the XXI Super Bowl in Pasadena to watch his beloved Giants win, were among his favorites, along with a Cattle Drive in WY, and swimming with the dolphins in the FL Keys.

Because of the current pandemic restrictions a Memorial service will be held in Tucson when possible.

Dom will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery, New Britain, CT, alongside his son, and a Memorial will be held when it is safe to do so. The family would especially like to thank the wonderful caregivers on floor 900s at Tucson Medical Center (TMC). They truly are our HEROES! In lieu of flowers, donations made be made in Dom’s memory to ; JDF, TMC Foundation, Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter, Tucson. Desert Sunset Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Posted in New Britain Herald, on Friday, 2 October 2020 17:43. Updated: Friday, 2 October 2020 17:46.