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Ronald Parnella, 82, singer, accordionist and music teacher

May 9, 1935 – Nov. 1, 2017

Ronald Parnella, of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired music teacher, died Wednesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 82.

Born in Monessen, Pa., he moved to Niagara Falls in 1947. A 1953 graduate of Niagara Falls High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana, Pa., University and a master’s degree in music education from the University at Buffalo.

Mr. Parnella began teaching in East Aurora schools in 1965, then went to Sweet Home Middle School in 1968 and the Niagara Wheatfield schools in 1970, where he also was band director. He retired in 1993.

He played professionally for 60 years, beginning at age 18. Lead vocalist and accordionist with the Casuals for 40 years, he also enjoyed performing for weddings and other family events.

In 1955, he met Nancy Nenninger when she was working at Moore Business Forms. They were married a year later.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, William and Mark; a daughter, Robyn Parnella Barone; two brothers, James and Carl; a sister, Josephine Fiori; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 21 in Trinity United Methodist Church, 711 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

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