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PISCOPO, John (Giovanni)

PISCOPO, John (Giovanni)

PISCOPO - John (Giovanni) Age 94, of the Town of Tonawanda, NY, passed away on March 17, 2017. He was born on October 9, 1922 in Portland, ME, the son of Antonetta (Cereste) and Michele Piscopo. A Maine native, John attended public schools, graduating from Portland High School in 1940. After serving three years in the U.S. Air Force Special Services during WWII, he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Springfield College, MA. From an early age, John preached the importance of exercise and daily activity. While studying for his Masters degree, John was a competitive diver and gymnast, becoming a diving champion for the state of Maine and an Olympic contender. While a graduate student, he served as a teaching fellow and part-time instructor of applied anatomy and kinesiology at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He continued his education at Boston University, earning his Doctorate degree in 1960. John met his wife and soulmate, Carolyn (Casale) in their hometown. Two years his elder, Carolyn was the apple of John's eye. The two went on to be married for 63 years, until Carolyn's passing in 2009. Dr. Piscopo began his professional career at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. John taught courses in the Professional Health and Physical Education Teacher Preparation Program. In addition to his many academic endeavors in the field, John coached both the men's swimming and gymnastics teams at the University, leading the gymnastics team to undefeated standing for over four years. In 1962, Dr. Piscopo joined the faculty at The State University of New York at Buffalo as a Professor of Physical Education and Director of Graduate Studies. He spent most of his career teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in kinesiology, exercise science, health, and aging. John was a pioneer in the fitness and wellness movement, among the first in academia to research and publish findings that linked exercise to slowing the aging process. John authored two universally adopted college textbooks: Kinesiology: The Science of Movement (with James Baley), John Wiley & Sons, NY, 1981; and Fitness and Aging, Macmillan, NY, 1985. Additionally, his work and contributions were published in over forty articles in professional journals and many chapters in books on topics ranging from human movement and aging to kinesiological analysis. He also served as a major advisor to hundreds of master's theses and doctoral dissertations. During this time, John also worked as a visiting professor at the University of Southern Maine. John was an active speaker, consultant and officer at esteemed state, district and national conferences as well as colleges and universities. His expertise was the source of many speaking engagements across the country, spanning as far as the University of Hawaii. He received a number of awards, including the Teaching/Service Award from former students and university administration. He was also lauded with honor awards for service and professional achievement from YMCAs of Greater Buffalo, the New York State HYPER Association, and the Eastern District Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Dance. Dr. Piscopo retired from his academic career in 1988 as professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, remaining physically and socially active. John attended the "Y" well into his nineties. He and his wife were well known in the community and were active in University and Buffalo area civic and social groups, including the Emeritus Center, the Geriatrics Educational Center in the School of Medicine, and the book review committee of the Health Sciences Library, as well as members of the Dante Alighieri Cultural Club of Buffalo, where they celebrated their Italian heritage. John was known for his love of music, inspiring the same in his children. A well known couple, the scene of John and Carolyn sweeping across the dance floor was a familiar one. He felt great pride knowing the accomplishments and successes of his many students, some of whom remained in contact with their admired professor throughout his life. John is recognized for his intellect, leadership and unparalleled work ethic. Foremost, he will be fondly remembered as a devoted husband, father and grandfather. John is a beloved father to his caring daughters, Carol Piscopo Bridges of the Town of Tonawanda, NY, Nancy Piscopo Westcott of West End, NC, and Anette Piscopo Rogers of Edgewood, RI, and two granddaughters, Caroline and Hannah Rogers of Boston, MA. Besides his three loving daughters, John is survived by his younger brothers, Alfred Piscopo of Scarborough, Maine and Carmine (Jack) Piscopo of Cumberland Foreside, ME, sons-in-law, Patrick Bridges, the late Kenneth Westcott and Robert Rogers, along with nieces and nephews. The memory of John's infectious smile will be forever cherished. Visiting hours are scheduled for Friday, March 24 from 5 PM-7 PM at Jones, Rich & Barnes,199 Woodford Street, Portland, ME. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Saturday, March 25 at 10 AM at Saint Peter Parish, 72 Federal Street, Portland, ME. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland, ME, immediately following the service. To share memories or on-line condolences with the family please visit

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