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Society Mourns Passing of Reds Legend Chuck Scherza
Providence, RI (3/16/2014): Chuck Scherza, 91, legendary Rhode Island Reds forward, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 16, 2014.
Chuck was the beloved husband of the late Anne (Szuszwal) Scherza. Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, the son of the late Charles and Marie (Haberstock) Scherza, he settled in Pawtucket, R.I., in the 1940s.
Scherza was among the most durable players ever to wear a Reds uniform. He played in 649 games, second by only one game to Zellio Toppazzini, and appeared in 60 or more games in each of his 10 seasons. Overall, in regular season play, he scored 139 goals, 297 assists for 436 points -- fourth highest in team history. He also played for the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.
Chuck's career as a player ended tragically in 1958-59 when as player-coach of the North Bay Trappers he was accidentally hit by a stick in his left eye. But he later became a respected linesman for AHL games in Providence. League officials praised him as one of the most accurate and dependable in the circuit. Youth, high school and college refereeing came next. "He was always in charge and respected by the young players" says Russ McGuirl, a veteran referee of 17 years who often partnered with Scherza. "If play got too rough, he could be very stern, or at other times very fatherly. Whatever it took, things never got out of control and the kids learned important values of sportsmanship from Chuck."
He was a member of the Rhode Island Hockey Officials Association and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
Chuck also became a stalwart member of the R.I. Reds Heritage Society and a regular at its annual reunions. In 2001, he received the Society's highest honor, the Tops Award. In recognition of Chuck's leadership and contribution to hockey in Rhode Island, the Society in 2011 named its annual Unsung Hero Award for the high school hockey forward in his honor.
Chuck leaves a daughter, Charlene Marolla; three sons, M. Richard, Norman and Danny Scherza; nine grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. He was the father of the late Ronald Scherza.
Visitation will be Thursday 4 to 7 p.m. at William W. Tripp Funeral Home, 1008 Newport Ave., Pawtucket. A Memorial Service will be held Friday at 10:30 A.M. in St. Matthew-Trinity Lutheran Church, 690 Newport Ave., Pawtucket.
Please omit flowers, memorial gifts to St. Matthew-Trinity Lutheran Church or the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society would be appreciated.
For further information call 401-230-5905 or e-mail RIREDS15@gmail.com.