header 1
header 2
header 3

In Memory

Mr. Lou Lanzalotto

Mr. Lou Lanzalotto


Lou Lanzalotto, Chairman Social Studies Department, Paramus High School

go to bottom 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page

06/23/13 07:47 PM #8    

Steve Petouvis (1966)

            As I read all of the posts about Mr. Lanzalotto I thought all of them were so true.  We were all so lucky to have been guided by such a knowledgeable man, on and off of the track.

            When I became the father of two sons of my own, like so many other dads, I found myself in the role of “coach”.   Of course I gravitated toward coaching recreational track and cross country, the sports I knew best.  What surprised me was that I also learned to love the sport of soccer and coached my boys in that sport as well. I realized that what made it so rewarding for me, and I hope my “kids” as well, was that I had learned from the best, Coach Lanzalotto.  We weren’t just guided as athletes, but also as young men.  He didn’t just care about us as we stepped upon the “cinders”. The caring piece transcended way beyond that.  He coached the whole person.  The “win” was never more important then the “athlete”. He taught his team how to deal with a loss as well as a win.  He taught us to believe in ourselves; that the impossible was within the next lap around the track.

            What really touched me, as well as my wife, Fran, who also graduated from P.H.S. in '66, was that he remembered and truly cared about our families.  He mentioned our siblings, Lenore and Richie and Rick Silverman by name.  No matter what their year of graduation, he never stopped caring about them as well.  If caring was the key to his success, he became the best of the best.

Steve Petouvis P.H.S. Class of '66


12/04/13 11:42 PM #9    

Kenny "Tash" Tashian (1964)

Posted by Kenny Tashian in Behalf of Pat Vellucci - Class of '65


You said a mouthful!  He was my coach and teacher.   I was one of those "mediocre" trackmen by the time I got to high school.  3rd in high jump, 3rd in 220, 4th in broad jump, relay, etc.  They would use me wherever.  I was tired after the football season in junior year; grades bad and not interested in watching the Hackensack and Englewood runners pass me by. (later on that)

Prior to the JV meet against Hackensack, I told Mr L that I was quitting.  He didn't need me and I hated being a passed by.  He said, "Let's talk later," and he gave me that Union City wink for which he was really famous.   As usual I jumped like 5'6...behind Cirner, Kenny Kolen and my Hackensack opposite, Duke Dillard; it was good for 4th place, which in those days counted for a point.

I also came in 4th in one of the hurdles, and again a point.  We won the meet by one point!  I thought nothing of it, but in the locker room Mr L made a big fuss over my 4th places and announced that I was the reason for the victory!   Huge applause from my friends, etc.  He then spoke to us about how each of us contributed in our own way, however small (4th place), and that creates victory. 

I have used the analogy a skillion times in life, with actors and crews, etc.  Some years later, while with the 10th Cav in the central highlands of Vietnam we were called to assist a company of marines not far from us.  After a short encounter, we landed and mixed with the marines.  One of them was Duke Dillard. 

We played opposite each other since freshman year in three sports, and he greeted me warmly.  We spoke of that day.  Sadly, he did not make it home.  Today they have named a bridge after him in Hackensack; the one going to Teaneck.  I try to visit it whenever I can.

Mr Lanzalotto was a giant in many eyes. they are not likely to see his kind pass that way again.

12/05/13 12:35 PM #10    

Stan Cohen (1974)

History Class - April 1974
Got to love those white socks. He signed my yearbook "Stan, thanks for being the fine young man that you are. Good luck & much happiness. Your success is assured  - LLanzalotto - and then he added "Wear white sox." This photo I took and was used in our '74 Delphian yearbook.

12/05/13 12:57 PM #11    

Michele See (Simon) (1964)

I was so sad when I first learned that Mr. Lanzalotto had passed away at such a young age. I didn't have him as a teacher but I was a Spartan cheerleader in 1964 and for extra credit I did all the mimeographing for all the coaches. As a result I was always in the Boy's Gym Office either picking up or delivering this paperwork. I never once entered that office without Mr. Lanzalotto looking up and then getting up so I could hand him the various materials. He's would always give me that big smile of his and say "Thank you Mickie you're a great gal for doing this". Total gentleman. Easy going. Fun to be around and he truly seemed interested in anything anyone had to say. Always looked you right in the eye. Great listener. Very low key. In life you remember people like this. Their memory never leaves you. Mr. Lanzolotto was one of those people and I will never forget him even though my class graduated 50 years ago. Michele/Mickie See Class of '64

12/05/13 05:56 PM #12    

Muriel T Tramontano (Donato) (1960)

He will always be one of my favorite teachers.  As we age, we lose more and more friends, but they will always be remembered.

12/05/13 05:59 PM #13    

Muriel T Tramontano (Donato) (1960)

He left us much too soon.

12/04/14 04:05 PM #14    

Lisa Anne Lanzalotto (1980)

I think uncle lou died either 1990 or 1991....I was at the hospital that day, as was my other uncle and my cousin, his son steve. When I left the hospital, i went outside and my car had a parking ticket on it...it was all quite a blur to me. He was the most amazing, kind, gentle and humble man, and i have NEVER MET anyone who EVER had one BAD thing to say about him, including his own kids (my cousins), which says alot.

He is always loved and missed, as well as his wife, my beloved aunt julie...


09/11/15 12:23 PM #15    

Lisa Anne Lanzalotto (1980)

So what am i doing on this page....september 11 2015?...I just picked up my stuff for the resevoir run on sunday and driving home, saw the banners out for the Paramus Run on October 18....I am going out for a run now, before work and I thought of uncle lou....I will see his son, my cousin on sunday at the Resevoir run.....I miss my uncle and think of him daily. I was blessed to have such a "human" being for an uncle.... A genuine person with a true heart and soul that managed to connect to so many, on a "human" level. We need more human beings, and less human "doings".....on this planet.

08/21/20 06:59 PM #16    

Kenny "Tash" Tashian (1964)


Written by Bill Lev ('73)


The PHS track memories, history and legacy would not have been possible if not for Coach Lanzalotto. When he passed away in 1986, my wife and I were on a cruise and unable to go to the funeral home. In respect we went to the funeral Mass and burial at George Washington Memorial Park. Not far from where my Dad was buried in 2001.

At the cemetery, at first I felt uncomfortable being I sensed one of a few non-family and close friends. Then I realized I was not there only for me- I had the privilege to represent the thousands of young men who he had coached at Coach’s burial service.

Here’s the card from the funeral.  I keep it in my 1973 yearbook.




What a great man, father, teacher, coach and role model.




06/01/21 04:33 PM #17    

Phil Fontana (1964)

   I've waited a long time to write this about Mr./Coach/Lou Lanzalotto, not taking lightly what I say.  It bothered me deeply that someone who meant so much to so many of us should have a blank for his memory page.

     Where to start, yes, a gifted teacher.  Nothing earth shaking, nothing terribly innovative.  But what an experience to be in his History class!  Laid back, easy going, talk about what was going on at PHS, social comments, teasing & joking.  We would eventually get around to the subject of History. Could one conclude he had a lazy approach to teaching & History?  I would say one could conclude that.   But the discussions, the research papers with each of us given a specific & different topic from each other hand picked to fit us by this Master Teacher.  Quizzes, tests?  I guess we had them but I don't even remember, obviously making no lasting impression on me.  But that senior year I entered his classroom as a math major accepted to Rutgers & by the end of that year I had reapplied & switched to a History major at Rutgers.  And so followed my career as a Social Studies teacher & Principal.

   And talk of taking a personal interest in his students....The summer before senior year, I was hoping to be in his history class.  We were both in the Office so he said let's check.  He went to VP Mr. Azzolino's wooden "box" of little pigeon coop openings for little slips of paper with student names wrapped with a rubber band.  I was not.  So Lanky Lou just switched my slip with someone else's slip & I was in his class!

  During that busy senior year, my History class with Mr. Lanzalotto was right after lunchtime.  It was during that time I would run around trying to address student council business seeing various people & trying to eat lunch.  Needless to say, sometimes I ran out of time & reported to his class with my bag lunch in hand.  He would notice things like that & say something like, "Busy day?  Eat your lunch."  And so I did, starting out his class listening, participating best I could while I downed a sandwich.

  And "The Coach" that he was in Track & Field as the winningest coach there probably was in any sport at PHS, across Bergen County & the NNJIL.  His magic again as with his teaching was his relaxed approached of leadership.  He was more track guidance counselor & psychologist who we were devoted to. We would never let him down & kill ourselves to achieve what we thought were his expectations of what we were capable.  --Indiviual events but, boy, what a total sense of team in instilled in us!  Contrary to my achievements on the Cross Country Team, on the Track Team with the depth of distance runners in those days with only the mile run as the only event for us, over four years I could count on one hand the places I took in track meets.  And yet, Coach Lanzalotto made me feel I was an important member of the team all four years.

 On the personal side, Mr. Lanzalotto would go to my father's barbershop to cut any hair he had left around that grey spot on one side of the back of his neck!  Teacher, Coach, Mr. Lanzalotto came to be a second father to me.  We would occasionally hang out at his house near PHS & got to know Mrs. Lanzalotto & all his kids (who I enjoyed meeting years later all grown up).  Even after graduation, our Committee met at his house to plan the first reunion for The Class of '64, the Fifth Year Reunion, held at the Swiss Chalet on Passaic Street in Rochelle Park!  By then, I was drafted & to be shipped out to Vietnam.  But the Committee completed the work on the Reunion without me.  I wrangled a pass to leave Basic Training at Fort Dix to attend the Reunion.  So many of you were there including Mr. & Mrs. Lanzalotto.  I remember MCing the evening at the microphone & drinking water glasses filled with scotch!  I was carried down the long stairway by Ron Carletta & the Lanzalottos at the evening's end to the car.  The remainder of the weekend was ugly!  Fast forward to the 1970's, he even tried to secure me a position at PHS teaching history but things did not work out.

  To conclude this tribute to the man, it was his love, his humanity that made Mr. Lanzalotto a very special person to thousands of us he helped educate.  Quality was his mark as a person.  On more than one occasion, Mr. Lanzalotto was asked to be Principal of PHS.  In fact, I think he was briefly Acting Principal during Mr. Joe Mc Donough's recuperation from a heart attack.  He consternated over accepting the position.  Mrs. Lanzalotto counselled him that he was happy being a teacher.  He finally decided.  He would accept the position only if he could continue as track coach.  That request was denied.  And so the decision was made for him.  Love, humanity, quality prevailed in the end.  If only he had more years of retirement to enjoy.  Goodness knows, Mr. Lou Lanzalotto, Coach, Lanky Lou, you deserved it!  We loved you & still do!

    -Phil Fontana

go to top 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page