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WILLIAM A. ACIERNO,
Doctor of Education, age 83, of Danville, PA died on January 1, 2014.
His health had been failing as a result of diabetes for several years. He
was born on July 6, 1930 in Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny County), the son of
the late Agnes (Sgambati) and Victor Acierno.
Bill graduated from
Central Catholic High School in 1948. He received a BA from the University
of Pittsburgh, his MFA from Carnegie Institute of Technology and a doctorate
from Carnegie Mellon University, all located in Pittsburgh within walking
distance of his childhood home.
A veteran of the
Korean War, Bill served in the Navy.
Bill worked at WQED,
Pittsburgh’s public TV station, where he was acquainted with “Mr. Rogers” of
children’s public television fame. For a period of time he worked in New
York City writing TV commercials, jingles and product slogans for CBS.
Bill taught Speech
and Theater Arts at Greenville High School in Greenville, PA and also taught
for Pittsburgh’s Public School System.
managed, directed and acted in plays at Rabbit Run, a summer stock theater
in Madison, OH located on the shore of Lake Erie. Long before his success
in “The Graduate” and “Tootsie”, Dustin Hoffman performed at Rabbit Run
Bill came to teach
at then called Bloomsburg State College in the Fall of 1966. He instructed
Speech, Theater Arts and eventually, Mass Communications until his
retirement in 1992, at which time he was designated as a Professor Emeritus
. Throughout his tenure, Bill served as Acting Chair of Speech and Theater
Arts and as Chairman of Mass Communications. He was elected as the first
president of the faculty union and served in that capacity from 1971 to
In 1980 and 1985
respectively, Bill founded WBSC-AM and WBUQ-FM and served as moderator for
“Night Talk” which featured the movers and shakers from area businesses,
organizations and governmental bodies.
directed and acted in a variety of musicals and plays that were offered to
the community at large over the years. Most memorable were, “The Man of La
Mancha” and “Becket”.
affectionately known as “BWANA” by the players on Bloomsburg University’s
Lacrosse team that he coached for 12 years and by the brothers of Phi
Epsilon Chi fraternity which he helped to found and then served as the local
fraternity’s advisor. Bill was later affiliated with a national fraternity,
Lambda Chi Alpha. He also served as advisor for Alpha Si Omega, a theater
arts academic fraternity.
In partnership with
the American Cancer Society, Bill helped found a local telethon using the
Mass Communications Department’s studios, TV equipment and student
volunteers to raise thousands of dollars for the Cancer Society locally.
Additionally, he served as President of the Columbia County Cancer Society
for many years. In 1975, Bill was awarded the prestigious Ray Calabrese
Medallion for his support of and volunteer work for the Cancer Society.
He is survived by
his sister, Angeline Acierno Lovuola (wife of the late Joseph A. Lovuola)
of Pittsburgh PA. Bill was a cherished uncle of Victor Lovuola (Melanie) of
Houston, TX, Lisa Lovuola of Fairview Park, OH, Nina Lovuola Tommarello
(Jerome) of Pittsburgh PA, Paul Acierno (Nancy) Rennerdale and Jeff Acierno
(Elaine) of Taylors, SC. There are several great nieces, great nephews, and
godchildren of friends and former students. He was preceded in death by two
brothers; Dominic and Victor Acierno, both from Pittsburgh.
A Memorial Mass will
be celebrated in Pittsburgh at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials
are encouraged to be sent to the American Cancer Society Montour Unit 1420
N. Susquehanna Trail Selinsgrove PA 17870. Online donations in Bill's
memory may be made at www.cancer.org/donate or 1-800-227-2345.
under the direction of Visneski Funeral Home, Inc. 10 W Mahoning Street
Danville PA. www.visneski.com