Henry J. Petrocelli


Henry “Petro” J. Petrocelli, age 96, a former resident of Coventry and Warwick before moving to Jamestown, passed away Wednesday, December 8, 2021. He was a son of the late Sylvester and Mary Petrocelli. Henry graduated from Coventry High School with the Class 1943 and, shortly after completing his 4 years of study and being star in two major sports with the Knotty Oakers, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps because he wanted to do his part for his county during WWII. In 1944, he joined the 20th Air Force on the Island of Tinian. Because of his talent, Henry was placed in headquarters taking care of officers’ finances in Japan. Once the war ended, he was honorably discharged in 1946. While Henry was stationed on the Island of Tinian, he had the opportunity to clash with the Harlem Globetrotters and saw his share of time on the court. A semi-professional athlete, Henry had an outstanding career in baseball, basketball, softball, golf, and bowling. He was on a championship team at least once in all 5 sports in which he competed. For 23 years, Henry held the all-important position of production and material controller at the Naval Air Station in Quonset, and then he held the same position for DiMeo Construction for 7 years before going on to give 5 years of his time to General Dynamics as production in material controller. For his final 7 years, before retiring in 1996, Henry was the Nautilus Instructor at the Community College of RI in Lincoln. He continued to work as a shot clock operator at basketball games involving the University of RI, RI College, the Community College of RI, and high school tournaments. At times, he held this position at several professional games. From 1955-1986, a total of 31 years, Henry was a member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials. In 1984, he served as the President of the Rhode Island Board of Basketball Officials. Henry was the loving father of Christine Mills, Dan Petrocelli, and Robert Meyers; brother of Norman Petrocelli, and the late Nick and Alfred Petrocelli. Henry is also survived by many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral service at 11 am on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 in the Fagan-Quinn Funeral Home, 825 Boston Neck Rd., North Kingstown. His burial with military honors will be in the RI Veterans’ Cemetery, Exeter. Kindly visit www.FaganQuinnFuneralHome.com for information and online condolences.