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Robert A. Cerone, North Tonawanda teacher, coach <br> June 30, 1943 -- June 16, 2007

Robert Alexander Cerone, a high school teacher, coach and adviser, died Saturday in his home in Kenmore. He was 63.

Born in Kenmore, Mr. Cerone was a graduate of Buffalo State College, where he received a master's degree. He then taught social studies for 35 years at North Tonawanda High School, where he also coached wrestling, was a senior class adviser and chairman of the social studies department.

"We couldn't even go to the Boulevard Mall without 15 students coming up and saying hi," his wife, Linda, said. "He was very involved in the community and loved his students."

His commitment to education did not stop with students. Mr. Cerone was vice president of New York State United Teachers, the largest public employee union in New York State, as well as regional coordinator of VOTE/COPE, which helps support pro-education political candidates.

Mr. Cerone was also a supervisor of student teachers at Niagara University, where he was honored as Teacher of the Year 1999. He received the same honor that year at North Tonawanda.

Mr. Cerone is remembered for his musical talent as well. He played the bass with several local musicians during the 1970s, including jazz artist Gerry Niewood.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Linda Anne Howie; a daughter, Elizabeth Cipolla; a son, Robert E.; his mother, Ida; and a sister, Elaine Gioseffi.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 1 p.m. Tuesday in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.


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