John C. Tripi Jr., youth softball pioneer
Building on his childhood passion of playing baseball at North Buffalo’s Shoshone Park, Mr. Tripi became a leading architect of one of the biggest girls travel softball programs in Western New York.
Thousands of girls played in the Amherst town league and hundreds of girls played in the well-known Lightning Travel Softball program, which attracts female softball players from every community in WNY. For the past 10 years, Mr. Tripi had been president of the travel program.
Family members said Mr. Tripi’s legacy of always putting the interest of the girls first, never profiting from his volunteer efforts and encouraging girls of all skill levels to practice and play for the love of the game, will set him apart as a community leader of the highest integrity.
Mr. Tripi was born in Buffalo, but adulthood came early when his father, an independent truck driver, died when he was 17.
Mr. Tripi followed in his father’s footsteps and built a 42-year career in managing and selling transportation services through working at Gibco, now Life Technologies, Productive Transportation, and for the past 10 years, at Extra Mile Transportation, where he was vice president of sales.
Known to his friends as “Trip”, he married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Pascolini, 36 years ago. His two children, John A., 27, and Jillian C., 25, played ball and had their father as their coach. John A. played baseball in Mathewson McCarthy Baseball League and when Jillian was old enough, Mr. Tripi began his career as her coach in the Amherst Girls Softball Town League. This past year marked 20 years with the organization.
In addition to his wife and children, Mr. Tripi is survived by a sister, Phyllis Stephenson.
Services were held Monday, Jan. 9 by the Perna, Dengler, Roberts Funeral Home.
A Mass of Christian Burial at St. Gregory the Great Church and a remembrance gathering at Sports Performance Park in the Eastern Hills Mall were both held Tuesday, Jan. 10.