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Heisman Winner Bertelli Dies at 78

June 27, 1999

CLIFTON, N.J. (AP) _ Angelo Bertelli, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1943 while at Notre Dame, died Saturday at his home of brain cancer. He was 78.

Bertelli won college football’s highest honor during a season shortened by his serving in the Marine Corps. He played six games for the Fighting Irish before being called to active duty in World War II.

At Notre Dame, Bertelli went from being a tall, skinny 165-pound fourth-string tailback to its first T-formation quarterback. He also was the school’s first of seven Heisman winners.

Bertelli’s shortened season at Notre Dame was undefeated with a collective score of 261-31. Bertelli had completed 70 percent of his passes, 25-of-36, for 512 yards and 10 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

``He’s certainly been a very prominent person in our athletic program. When you win an award of that stature, it’s not as though you disappear,″ Notre Dame athletic spokesman John Heisler said Sunday. ``It wasn’t uncommon to see him back here despite the fact that he lived in New Jersey.″

Notre Dame athletics director Mike Wadsworth said he was impressed with Bertelli’s willingness to help the university.

``Angelo was always very humble and a person generous with his time to Notre Dame students and to the university, responding on so many occasions when, because of his celebrity, he was called upon,″ he said.

After serving as a captain in the Marines, Bertelli played professional football for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. A knee injury ended his career.

Born and raised in West Springfield, Mass., Bertelli operated a liquor store in Clifton for 48 years. He also served as director of the North Jersey Automobile Association of America.

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

Survivors include his wife, Gilda; two sons, Michael of Allendale, and Robert of Hoboken; two daughters, Lauren Bertelli of Waldwick, and Judith Wry of Manchester, Conn.; two sisters and five grandsons.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. at the Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Ave., Clifton, N.J. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at the St. Andrew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church at 400 Mount Prospect Ave., Clifton. Visiting hours are Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m.

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