Rest in Peace, John Vernacchio

by Al Myers

Two legends in All-Round Weightlifting, John Vernacchio (left) and Frank Ciavattone (right) at the 2009 IAWA World Championships in Lebanon, PA.

Yesterday brought some bad news to the All-Round Community with the news of the passing of John Vernacchio.  Anyone who has been involved with the USAWA for any length of time knows John.   John has been one of the primary leaders in our organization since the beginning, and without his efforts the USAWA might not even exist today.  I could go “ON AND ON” regarding John’s titles and lifting resume, but today I want to take the time to remember John for “the man he was”, and from the comments that I have received about him, it is obvious that he was loved and well-respected by all.  Please continue to send any comments and/or stories about John, and I’ll share them here on the USAWA website.

by Steve Gardner

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but for those who knew him, just wanted to let you know John Vernacchio has passed away. John was my very good friend and buddy from Philadelphia USA, a prolific all round weightlifter and powerlifter in his early days and a big mover and shaker in the US all round organisation too. John was 75 I think, and he suffered a fatal heart attack this morning. So very very sad. Rest in peace John.

by Andrew Tomlin

he was a gentleman and a legend R.I.P john

by Barry Bryan

Very sad news to hear. I lifted for his gym,trained with him, and he is the one who got me in the all round lifting. We had many great times.

by James Gardner

RIP JOHN. ALWAYS A LEGEND

by Joe Garcia

Sad news indeed. Remember a lot of good times with John at his meets. I called Bill and let him know. If anyone has current address or funeral data shoot them to me.

by John Gardner

Very sad to loose the legend will miss you mr v

by Steve Angell

Am sitting here with tears in my eyes. This has just become one of the saddest days of my life. l owe that man so much and had a love for him like a father. RIP John. You really were a legend!

by Rick Meldon

Horrible news, a great bloke indeed

by David Horne

Very sad news. I always remember my time at his place in Philly with fondness. A great chap!

by Tom Ryan

Yes, very sad news. I echo the comments made above. I knew John well, especially from the 1989-90 academic year that I spent in the Philly area and trained a few times at his gym. John was very active in staging competitions during the early years of the USAWA, in which he was a charter member. And he was a force on the lifting platform! He was a good Olympic lifter who switched to powerlifting after the press was eliminated, as the press was his best lift. John retained his strength as he aged much better than most of us do, as he squatted with 601 at the age of 47, which tied his personal record. Yes, John was 75 and would have turned 76 near the end of the year.

by Graham Saxton

Very sorry to hear the news. I had the pleasure to spend sometime with him on a number of occasions. Treasured memories.

(THERE WILL BE MORE TRIBUTES TO COME OVER THE FOLLOWING DAYS)

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