D’Angelo left his mark on county sports | News, Sports, Jobs

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is the biography of Tom D'Angelo, one of nine inductees into the 2024 class of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. Other inductees are Karen Bakewell, Daniel Bryner, Cheryl Burns, Doug Kaltenbach, Rod Maloy, Carlene Sluberski, Karen Tellinghuisen and Judy Young. These nine individuals will be officially inducted at the 42nd CSHOF Induction Banquet on Presidents' Day, February 19. Tickets are available at CSHOF, 15 W. 3rd St., Jamestown; at the Jock Shop, 10 Harrison St., Jamestown; at Matt's News, 93 E. 3rd St., Dunkirk; by calling Banquet Chairman Chip Johnson at 716-485-6991; or online at https://www.chautauquasportshalloffame.org/.

Tom D'Angelo was a man of many talents who worked tirelessly in the Chautauqua County sports scene for more than four decades. From bowling to umpiring to coaching to spectatoring, the 2024 Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame inductee has left an indelible imprint on every organization and person that has come within Tom's sphere of influence.

D'Angelo was born in 1943 and was a graduate of Jamestown High School and Jamestown Community College.

He fell in love with bowling as a teenager and was involved in the sport in various capacities over the next 35 years. He was a classical level bowler for three decades. He served as team captain and league president. He has competed in 10 state tournaments and 15 American Bowling Congress tournaments.

He provided the Jamestown Area Bowling Association with effective leadership for 20 years as a track representative, board director and board president. He received the JABA Outstanding Service Award in 2001 and was inducted into the JABA Hall of Fame in 2003.

Tom was a noted sports official in three sports. He worked as a football referee for 13 years. Additionally, he has served on various football officials' committees and officiated numerous playoff games. Wally Huckno, former Jamestown High School football coach and CSHOF inductee, called Tom, “A complete professional who was able to identify with the athletes and earn their respect.”

D'Angelo was a baseball umpire for 27 years and a softball umpire for 32 years. He has served as president and board member of both referee organizations. He umpired the American Softball Association National Championships in 1984 (Garland, Texas) and 1986 (Albany, Georgia). Renowned referee and CSHOF inductee Larry Rodgers said, “Tom was a take-charge type of official and a gentleman on the field.

He had excellent relationships with coaches, players, spectators and other referees. He was cool under pressure and had a wonderful personality. It was obvious that Tom loved the game and I enjoyed working with him.

D'Angelo was inducted into the Chautauqua County Umpires Hall of Fame in 1987.

D'Angelo also coached Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball for 12 years and was very active in the Italian-American charity golf tournament.

What made all of these accomplishments even more remarkable was that Tom accomplished them despite being diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin's disease in 1970, at the age of 27. He endured four months of radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy. He had his spleen removed and lost 44 pounds. But two years after the initial diagnosis, Tom was back as an official and bowler.

In the mid-2000s, D'Angelo experienced another health challenge: Parkinson's disease. Despite the physical limitations imposed by Parkinson's disease, he continued to attend and support the women's basketball team at his alma mater, Jamestown CC. When he became too ill to attend games in person, he faithfully called Jamestown CC coach Keith Martin to cheer on the team. After Tom's passing in January 2007, Martin and assistant coach Jim Rissel created the Jamestown CC Tom D'Angelo Memorial Lady Jayhawk Classic Basketball Tournament and the Tom D'Angelo Spirit Award.

A former salesman at his family's shoe store, Arcade Shoes, and then an insurance agent at the Pfeffer Agency, Tom D'Angelo is buried in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Jamestown.

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