Columbus, OH --- Placido "Pat" Anthony Salerno, 81, of Flemington, N.J., died Aug. 26, 2016, surrounded by his family.
He was the husband of Betty (Coopersmith) Salerno. They would have celebrated 61 years of marriage in October.
Born Feb. 28, 1935, in Easton, Pa., he was the son of Anthony and Margaret (Vacaro) Salerno. Mr. Salerno graduated from Easton High School in 1953. He was an accomplished musician who belonged to several bands that played throughout New York and the Poconos. In 1958, his band, the Bobby Warren 5, recorded their hit single Nightbeat.
Mr. Salerno attended Trenton State College and received his teaching degree. He became director of the music department at St. Anthony's High School. There he developed one of the finest music programs in the state, and many of his students went on to be successful professional musicians.
He had a deep love for horses and racing. In the summer months, when school was out, he became involved in pony races at Spruce Run Park in Flemington, N.J. After several summers of pony races, he took the next step and bought his first race horse, and what started out as a hobby quickly became a career. In 1974, he gave up teaching and with the help of his sons, he opened Salerno Stables, which went on to be a successful career for him and his sons.
In 1985, Mr. Salerno became Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association and later served as the Executive Director of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. He worked tirelessly for the benefit of all involved in the sport that he loved.
In 1998, he received the Harness Horsemen's International Man of the Year Award, an honor that he was truly proud of.
He was a very active member of the Our Lady of Victories R.C. Church in Baptistown, N.J.
Mr. Salerno is survived by his wife, Betty; sons, Anthony (Shauna), Steve (Kathy) and Tom (Carol); grandchildren, Krista (Steve) Matis, Kyle and Kaylee; great-grandchildren, Mason and Evan; sisters, Palma Bubba and Rosemary (partner Jane Fetterman; and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday (Sept. 2) at 11 a.m. at the Our Lady of Victories R.C. Church, 1005 Route 519, Baptistown, NJ 08803. Interment will follow at St. Anthony's Cemetery, Easton, Pa. Visitation will also be held on Friday from 9-11 a.m. prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are under the care of the Johnson-Walton Funeral Home, 24 Church Road, Milford, N.J.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the church.
For more information or to send online condolences, please visit www.JohnsonWalton.com.
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