Manuel Pereira, 78, of Westfield, New Jersey passed away on Sunday, January 17. He was the beloved husband of Elaine (Smisco) Pereira of 54 years. Manuel was born on April 26, 1942 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania to the late Jose Periera and Rose Sestok. Manny met his wife in 1963 and they married in 1966. After they wed, they resided in Roselle Park prior to moving to Westfield in 1969. While living in Westfield, they raised their three children, Lynn Nicusanti of Point Pleasant, Christine Sliwinski of East Brunswick, and Jeffrey Pereira of Westfield. He is survived by his brother Joe Pereira of Miami, Florida, his sisters Julia Lopes of Bonita Springs, Florida, Delores Harris of Brielle, New Jersey and his half-brother Alfredo Pereira of Portugal. Manny is also survived by his two son-in-laws. Michael Sliwinski and Michael Nicusanti and his eight grandchildren, Dylan, Ryan, Brianna, Victoria, Jake, Alexandra, Christian, and Benjamin.
Manny began his educational career at the Springfield Board of Education in 1967 at Jonathan Dayton Regional High School as an accounting and typing teacher. In addition to teaching, Manny also coached baseball and football. In 1978, Manny became the assistant principal of the school. During his years as an administrator, Manny had an uncanny ability to foster strong relationships with all of the students he came in contact with over his illustrious career. Manny's legacy has continued to live on after his retirement in 2000.
Manny spent his retirement years being a caregiver for several of his grandchildren. He thoroughly enjoyed watching his grandchildren play in a wide variety of sports. In particular, he watched his oldest granddaughter score her 1000th point on her high school basketball team and was recognized with an award as the number one fan by her coaches.
He was a two-star athlete, playing football and baseball, at Westside High School in Newark from 1957-1960. In January 1961 he enlisted in the United States Army where he was there for two years. He attended Montclair University from 1963-1967. While attending Montclair, he signed a short term contract with the Yankees. After being released, he finished Montclair with a B.A. in business education. Manny also received a M.A. in administration from Kean University in 1974.
Often you could find Manny in Atlantic City, the racetrack, or the local convenience store getting his lottery tickets. Manny was also a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox and spent his nights during the summer watching them on television and flipping over to the Yankee game rooting for them to lose. He was well known throughout the community due to the many years of coaching his son in baseball. Manny was also a member of the Westfield High School Booster Club. Manny personality and sense of humor were second to none. He was considered genuine and a great listener. Which is why people gravitated towards him.
Information for a memorial will be announced in the coming months.
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