Purello, Joseph A. “Coach”

April 21, 2018

EAST GREENBUSH- Joseph A. “Coach” Purello, 95, passed away peacefully at his home Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Raised in Albany, he was the son of Nellie and Charles Purello. Joe graduated from Albany High School and attained undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Syracuse University, Joe was exceptionally close with his brothers, Sam and Al. Like them, he was an accomplished athlete and local sports legend. He was a four-sport standout in high school and many of his track and football records stood for over thirty years. He went on to play football at Syracuse University and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1940s.

Joe was a decorated WWII veteran who flew 32 missions including D-Day aboard a B-17 “Flying Fortress” with the 368th squadron in the 306th bombardment group of the 8th Air Force as a radioman and gunner.

Upon his return from service, Joe began his career at Albany High School as the track and football coach before moving across town to Philip Schuyler as both coach and Physical Education teacher. He continued coaching and teaching at RPI and, in 1967, became coach and Director of Athletics at Hudson Valley Community College, where he started their football program in 1970. As head baseball coach, he took his team to the Junior College World Series twice, as well as coaching track, basketball, and a highly successful golf team which produced many All Star players, and won the Region III Championships three times. He retired in 1986 and was later inducted into the Hudson Valley Community College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Joe was predeceased by his adored wife Dorothy Powell Purello, and his beloved brothers Sam and Al Purello. He is survived by his children Lucy Lennon, Joshua Powell, Leah Tyrrell (Tom), and Seth Powell (Susie); 9 grandchildren, a great-grandchild and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family wishes to thank the staff at The Eddy at Hawthorne Ridge for their wonderful care and compassion.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Joe’s family Thursday, April 26, from 4-7 p.m. in the Daniel Keenan Funeral Home, 490 Delaware Ave., Albany. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, corner of Madison Ave. and Eagle St., Albany. Interment will follow the Mass in North Chatham Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Capital Region Patriot Flight, P.O. Box 190, Delmar, NY 12054.