Jerry A. Nicola
Mayor Jerry A. Nicola passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 18, 2009 at his residence in Bridgeport, PA. He was 71. Jerry was the Mayor of Bridgeport from 2002 until present. He started his career as a patrolman with the Bridgeport Police Department in 1962, moving through the ranks as sergeant in 1977, and then was appointed Chief of Police in 1980. Jerry retired as Chief of Police of Bridgeport in 1993. While serving on the force, he received numerous awards, commendations, and recognitions, among them; 1969 The National Child Safety Council Award; 1982 The American Police Excellent Arrest Award and The American Police Service Award; 1985 Law Enforcement Award Presented by Valley Forge 1776 Sons of Italy; 1988 Law & Order Award presented by the Greater Valley Forge Chamber of Commerce; 1989 Police Chiefs' Association of Montgomery County Award; 1990 recognition by The Americans of Italian Heritage Council; 1991 selected as "Man of the Year" by the Bridgeport-Upper Merion Lions Club, and also organized the annual Police Memorial Services every May in the Borough in honor of the National Police Week. Jerry organized the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony with the Fire Works Display, which he loved, at the start of the Christmas season. He was a co-founder of the Alabama Booster Club of Bridgeport, PA.
Jerry was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Bridgeport, PA where he served as past president of the Congrega Society which sponsors the annual three day celebration in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and was also in the Holy Name Society. He was also a member of many organizations which included: past President of the Police Chiefs' Association of Montgomery County, International Police Chiefs' Association, Southeastern Pennsylvania Police Chiefs' Association, Delaware Valley Professional Police Association, Montgomery County Lodge # 14 Fraternal Order of Police, Charter Member of the St. Valentine- Madonna Grande Italian Society, Valley Forge Lodge # 1776 Sons of Italy, Associazione Regionale Abbruzzese, Overbrook Italian Club, and the League of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jerry graduated from Bridgeport High School, Class of 1955 and served in the US Marine Corps, serving from 1955 to 1958. Born in Bridgeport, PA on February 20, 1938, he was a son of the late John and Mary (Morochock) Palonicola Nicola, Sr.
Surviving are his loving family including his wife of 20 years, Eileen M. (Hanson) Nicola; a son, Jerry A. Palonicola, Jr. and his wife, Susan of Eagleville, PA; two daughters: Maria Nicola of Bridgeport, PA and Lucia Burke and her husband, Brian of Plymouth Meeting, PA; two step-daughters, Kimberly A. Fonash and her husband, Raymond of King of Prussia, PA and Michele Tryson of Bridgeport, PA; 10 grandchildren: Christopher, Julia, Nicholas, Marissa, Paige, Luke, Connor, Dylan, Emily Ann, and Alexander; two brothers: John M. Nicola, Jr. and his wife, Mary Beth of King of Prussia, PA and Joseph L. Nicola and his wife, Cathy of Tampa, FL; a sister, Rita Marie Chiccino of Bridgeport, PA; and many nephews and nieces.
He is preceded in death by his first wife, Julia M. (Gambone) Nicola and a sister, Dolores Ann Nicola. Relatives and friends are invited to Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 502 Ford St. Bridgeport, PA on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 11am Officiating will be Rev. Salvatore J. Pronesti. Interment in St. Augustine Cemetery, King of Prussia, PA.
His viewings will be Wednesday evening, 4 to 8pm and Thursday morning, 9 to 10:20am, both at The Bacchi-Courtney Funeral Home & Crematory, Ltd., 805 DeKalb St., (Rt.202) Bridgeport, PA 19405 At the request of Jerry, he wishes for memorial contributions in his memory be made to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 502 Ford St., Bridgeport, PA 19405 and/or his grandparents hometown of Torricello Sicura, Italy, payable to Eileen Palonicola, 805 DeKalb St., Bridgeport, PA 19405. Funds will be forwarded to Italy.