Janicelli honored as BSA Distinguished Citizen

Peter Janicelli, second from right, was honored May 11 as the Boy Scouts’ Baden-Powell Council Distinguished Citizen. From left are Thomas Chamberlain, who serves on the Boy Scouts’ executive committee, Joan Janicelli, the honoree and Susquehanna County district attorney Jason Legg. STAFF PHOTO/HELEN FOSTER

Peter Janicelli, second from right, was honored May 11 as the Boy Scouts’ Baden-Powell Council Distinguished Citizen. From left are Thomas Chamberlain, who serves on the Boy Scouts’ executive committee, Joan Janicelli, the honoree and Susquehanna County district attorney Jason Legg. STAFF PHOTO/HELEN FOSTER

BY HELEN B. FOSTER
Correspondent

Retired magisterial district judge Peter Janicelli was honored on Saturday, May 11, as Baden-Powell Council, Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen.

The day of celebration started with a golf tournament at the Golden Oak Golf Course, Windsor, N.Y., and concluded with a dinner attended by family, friends and co-workers.

The distinguished citizen is chosen for his outstanding community service and the leadership given to many organizations as well as the respect and esteem in which they are held by their colleagues.

Since Janicelli’s return from Vietnam in 1969, where he served with an Air Calvary Division as company commander, he has been a presence in his community as a member of the Susquehanna Borough Police Department prior to his election as district justice in 1987, a position he held for 24 years, retiring on Jan. 1, 2012.

Janicelli has served on Susquehanna Borough council, Barnes Kasson Hospital board and was a director on the Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority board. Besides being a Little League coach, Janicelli has been known to cook breakfast for the Sabers football team on game day.

He has served as District Chairman of the Boy Scouts and has served on the executive council. Helping veterans has been important to Janicelli as he served as Commander of Post 86; organized outings for veterans, cooked and served meals for celebrations, made home visits to veterans to let them know how important they are to the community.

The evening’s program opened with Troop 92, Montrose, presenting the colors, leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the Boy Scout Oath and Scout Law. The invocation was given by Peter’s good friend, Joe Bucci. Benediction was by another longtime friend, John Munson.

Baden-Powell Council Field Director Robert Clark spoke of the successful year this council has experienced. For the second year the council has received the highest honor the national council can bestow, putting the local council in the Top Ten percent of councils in the country. In 2012 69 Scouts in Baden Powell Council achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, an increase over last year.

Janicelli’s wife, Joan, gave the family remarks by recounting all the years she has known the honoree. They met in first grade and married after college and have been married for 44 years. Their family includes a son, Michael, and a very special grandson, Paul.

Janicelli and his wife share a great many interests, including being avid sailors with a boat on the Finger Lakes; wine making from grapes they grow in their vineyard; and traveling.

Mrs. Janicelli received a message from Father Thomas Cappelloni, a former pastor of St. Martin of Tours Church, Jackson, where the couple are parishioners.

Father Cappelloni described Janicelli’s work as a District Justice as a unique and productive application of civil law, that was just, practical and merciful. “Every time I approached Peter for advice and assistance when our roles of Pastor and Justice over lapped, he was ever willing to be of service with a compassion that is sorely lacking in our time,” Cappelloni wrote.

District Attorney Jason Legg spoke of his first meeting with Janicelli when Legg was a teen.

He spoke of his close relationship with the district justice since he has been the D.A. “He taught me many things about the law that I did not learn in law school,” Legg said. “I have seen the many faces of Peter Janicelli and learned what each one meant,” Legg added.

The D.A. added that the honoree understood the law and how to handle people. “I cannot think of a better person to receive this award.”

District Judge Suzanne Brainard also spoke highly of the way Peter handle his position while he was in office. She highlighted his accomplishments and offered her congratulations.

Thomas Chamberlain, a member of the executive committee, had the honor of making the award presentation.
In thanking the Baden Powell Council for honoring him, Janicelli spoke of all the great people who were honored before him. He praised all those who he has worked with over his years as District Justice, especially the ladies who handled the administration duties of the office. He thanked all who came out to honor him and support the local Boy Scout program.

Members of the planning committee for the 2013 Distinguished Citizen Award dinner were: Joan Janicelli, Jason Legg, Suzanne Brainard, Tom Chamberlain, Lori Moore and Eric Upright.