Little League Eastern Region Headquarters: In Memoriam

Friday, December 11
Little League® Remembers Maryland District 7 Administrator Ed Wotjkowski


Little League® mourns the passing of Ed Wotjkowski, Maryland District 7 Administrator. He was 62.

Mr. Wotjkowski, a native of Pittsburgh, was first elected as a District Administrator (D.A.) in 2007. He was re-elected to a four-year term earlier this year, and was recently appointed the President’s Advisory Board. Due to his illness, Mr. Wotjkowski was unable to assume that role.

Employed by the Department of Defense for 42 years at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Mr. Wojtkowski of Pomfret, Md., was dedicated to Little League and other youth sports in Maryland’s Prince George’s and Charles Counties.

Mr. Wotjkowski is survived by his wife of 19 years, Wendie; sons, Andrew Wojtkowski, Matthew Wojtkowski; daughter, Daria Pool; brothers, William Wojtkowski and Paul Wojtkowski; nieces, Tia and Gina; and six grandchildren, Justin, Kiera, Jenna, Mae, Hillary, and Iris.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Maryland District 7, at P.O. Box 437, Dunkirk, Md., 20754; or the National Kidney Foundation, Finance Department, 30 East 33rd Street, New York, N.Y., 10016.

Friday, March 15
Little League Mourns the Passing of Dave Ruotolo, Former Little League International Board Member, Connecticut District 4 Administrator

Little League International mourns the passing of David Ruotolo, Connecticut District 4 Administrator and a former member of the Little League International Board of Directors.

Mr. Ruotolo was nominated and elected to the Little League International Board of Directors in 2007, and served as the Eastern Region’s representative until 2011.

“Not only have we lost a great friend and outstanding director, but we have lost a tremendous asset to the Little League program,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Dave provided us with a wealth of knowledge and experience that cannot easily be replaced. We will miss him, and we extend our condolences to his wife, Kathy and the entire Ruotolo family at this difficult time.”

Elected as Connecticut District 4 Administrator (DA) in September of 1991, Mr. Ruotolo served in that capacity for 23 years. As district staff member, he attended six Little League International (LLI) Congresses, and, in 2010, received his 20-year service pin at the 25th LLI Congress in Lexington, Ky.

In 1994, he was an original contributor to the development of Little League Baseball and Softball’s A Safety Awareness Program (ASAP); and helped to introduce the ASAP program to delegates attending the Little League International Congress in Reno, Nev.

Mr. Ruotolo was a member of the Little League Presidents Advisory Committee (1995-98); and in 1998 became a member of the Eastern Region’s Advisory Committee.

Working tirelessly in support of the Little League Softball program, Mr. Ruotolo volunteered as tournament director at the district and state levels, and was a member of the Little League International Softball Advisory Committee.

A native of East Haven, Conn., Mr. Ruotolo moved to West Haven, Conn., and began his service to West Haven Little League as a team manager in 1971. He would later serve on West Haven Little League’s board of directors, at different times holding the positions of Player Agent, Vice President, and was elected as League President on two occasions. He proceeded to the district level, volunteering as an Assistant District Administrator for Connecticut District 4’s 14 leagues, prior to his election as District Administrator.

“Dave was a proud supporter of the mission of Little League,” Mr. Keener said. “His belief that Little League’s role was to help develop children into tomorrow’s leaders became a passion. An advocate for softball, he was driven to help all children benefit from their experiences on and off the field … We will miss him.”

The “career highlight” for Mr. Ruotolo was Orange (Conn.) Little League from Connecticut District 4 representing the Eastern Region in the 2005 Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Ore.

Mr. Ruotolo, a veteran of the United States Navy (1962-69), left high school to join the service, and later received his GED while on active duty. He received an Associate in Science degree in Business Administration in 1994, from South Central Community College. Following time in the trucking industry, he owned a screen printing and embroidery business.

Mr. Ruotolo is survived by his wife, and daughters Stephanie, Jennifer and Jocelyn.

Thursday, June 21
Little League Mourns the Passing of Ralph Perricone, Longtime Little League Volunteer

Little League International mourns the passing of former New York District Administrator Ralph Perricone. He was 86.

For nearly 50 years, Mr. Perricone volunteered his time as a Little League volunteer, including more than 25 years as a member of the South Shore Little League (SSLL) board of directors in Staten Island N.Y. For more than 10 years, he held the volunteer position of New York 24 District Administrator, and also served as Section 4 Tournament Coordinator. While volunteering as a SSLL team manager, Mr. Perricone reached the Eastern Region Tournament in 1976 and 1977.

Mr. Perricone, a native of Queens, N.Y., settled in Tottenville, N.Y., where he worked as a quality insurance inspector for the U.S. Government for more than 30 years, retiring in 1981. Preceding Mr. Perricone in death was his wife of 54 years, Ethel, who passed away in 2005; and son, Frank, who passed in 1979. He is survived by one son, Ralph; two brothers, two sisters, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be held Saturday, June 23, 2012 7-9PM and Sunday, June 24, 2012 2-4 & 7-9PM. Funeral services will be held at Our Lady Help of Christians RC Church on Staten Island, NY on Monday, June 25, 2012 at 10:00AM.

Tuesday, March 20
Little League Mourns the Passing of John Rupp, Longtime PA D7 Administrator

John A. Rupp Sr., 78, of Worthington, died Sunday, March 18, 2012, at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital. He was a lifelong resident of the area. John was an inductee in the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame, where he served on the board of governors. He was the former president of the Worthington Little League and was Pennsylvania District No. 7 administrator for 29 years.

Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at F. DUANE SNYDER FUNERAL HOME in Worthington, where additional visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. Thursday with the Rev. A. David Meneely officiating. Interment at Worthington Presbyterian Cemetery. In John's honor, memorial contributions may be made to Pennsylvania District No. 7 Little League Baseball and Softball, 135 Apple Lane, Indiana, PA 15701, or the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame, c/o Jeff Renwick, PO Box 446, Worthington, PA 16262. For more information or to send an online condolence, please visit

Tuesday, January 3
Little League Mourns the Passing of Charlie Fortenbacker, Longtime District Administrator

Little League International mourns the passing of New Jersey District 17 Administrator Charlie Fortenbacker. He was 81. Mr. Fortenbacker of Basking Ridge, N.J., served as New Jersey District 17 Administrator for several years. He began his volunteer service to the Little League program as a member of the Basking Ridge Little League in 1968, and served as its President from 1983-to-1997. Credited as one of the founding fathers of the Basking Ridge Little League field complex, Mr. Fortenbacker, in 1991, was honored by the league as it re-named is main field after him and his wife, Carmen, for their commitment to the children of Bernards Township, N.J. A 1948 graduate of Bernards High School, Mr. Fortenbacker joined the United States Marine Corps that same year and served in the Korean War. He attained the rank of Sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1952. Mr. Fortenbacker joined the Bernards Township Police Department in 1955, and became a patrolman in 1956. Rising through the ranks, he retired in 1998 as Captain. His career in the Bernards Township Police Department spanned 42 years. A charter member of the New Jersey Police Traffic Officers Association (1974), in 1998, Mr. Fortenbacker was awarded the Anthony Parenti Achievement award for his 25 years of dedicated service to the association. Mr. Fortenbacker is survived by Carmen, his wife of 55 years; sons Charles and Craig; and five grandchildren.

Thursday, September 8
Little League Mourns the Passing of George Berardi, Former International Board Member
George Berardi

Little League International mourns the passing of George Berardi, a former District Administrator (DA) in Massachusetts, and member the Little League International Board of Directors.

Mr. Berardi of Woburn, Mass., served as Massachusetts District 13 Administrator for more than 50 years, and spent several years as Massachusetts’ Little League State Director. In 2010, at the 25th Little League International Congress in Lexington, Ky., Mr. Berardi was recognized for his five decades as a DA.

“George was an icon in our program and will be sorely missed,” Stephen D. Keener, Little League International’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “On behalf of the entire Little League program, I ask that we all keep George's wife, Ann, and his family in our thoughts during this difficult time.”

Prior to his election as district administrator, Mr. Berardi coached for three seasons and was a manager for two years at the local league level. He served as an Assistant District Administrator for four years, and was his local league’s umpire-in-chief.

In 1992, Mr. Berardi served as Chairman for the Little League International Congress held in Boston. During his time in the Little League program, he also was a member of the Little League President’s Advisory Committee.

Thursday, July 7
Little League Mourns the Passing of Carlos Gonzalez, Longtime Hamden Coach
Carlos Gonzalez, born February 20, 1961 in Havanna, Cuba died May 30, 2011 in Pittsburgh surrounded by his loving family. Loving husband to Cynthia Gonzalez, and remarkable father to Caitlin Gonzalez and Justin Gonzalez all of Hamden. He is the son of Adela Gonzalez of Levittown, N.Y. And the late Aurelio Gonzalez. Also survived by a sister Lissette Bisso of St. James, NY. For 17 years, Carlos was actively involved in Hamden Father's Little League Baseball, most recently as head coach of the Scorpions. He could be found at Bassett Field all baseball season and was a role model to so many young players learning the game. He loved giving his time to make sure HFBSA was the greatest Little League Program in the world. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday at 10 am in St. Joan of Arc Church. Friends may call Tuesday from 4 - 8 pm in Sisk Brothers Funeral Home 3105 Whitney Ave. Hamden. In lieu of flowers contributions to Lungs for Los, 117 Chatterton Way, Hamden, CT. 06518 or to HFBSA 2911 Dixwell Ave, Suite 204, Hamden, CT. 06518 or Family House of Pittsburgh, 5301 5th Ave. Pittsburgh, PA. 15232 ATT: Christine Knott.

Tuesday, July 5
Little League Mourns the Passing of Don Gleason, Longtime MA D1 Administrator
Donald J. Gleason died on July 3, 2011, at home with his family, after a brief illness. Born in Pittsfield on Oct. 22, 1933, he was the son of the late Donald J. and Elizabeth R. (King) Gleason. A 1952 graduate of St. Joseph High School and a 1953 graduate of Cranwell Preparatory school, he went on to attend Providence College. A three- sport stand-out athlete at St. Joseph High School and Cranwell, he also played basketball for Providence College. He served in the Army from 1956-1958, a member of the armored-tank division in Fort Lewis, WA. After his discharge from the Army, he returned to Pittsfield where he married Patricia J. Tremblay on June 25, 1960. After a variety of jobs, he settled in the Pittsfield School Department and retired in January of 1999. He dedicated his life to youth sports in Pittsfield. He began his service to Little League Baseball in 1968, where he served as president of the North Little League. He was subsequently named president of the Pittsfield Little League and then named District 1 Administrator of the Massachusetts State Little League from 1985-2011. He began volunteering at the Catholic Youth Center in 1958 as a basketball coach and continued coaching and running the Bantam and Instructional Leagues until 1999 when he was appointed Athletic Director, a position he held until March of 2010. His work in youth sports positively impacted the lives of thousands of boys and girls in Pittsfield and beyond. Over the years, he was the recipient of countless civil and diocesan awards for his service, including being named to the diocese of Springfield's Circle of Stewards in in 2006. Funeral Notice: Funeral services for Donald J. Gleason will be Thursday, July 7, 2011, at 10 a.m. from the DWYER FUNERAL HOME, 776 North St., Pittsfield, with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at St. Charles Church, celebrated by the Rev. A. Peter Gregory, pastor. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home will be Wednesday, July 6, 2011, from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Donald J. Gleason Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2008 to provide assistance to graduating seniors from Berkshire County who have served the youth of our community, care of the Dwyer Funeral home, in his memory.

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