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May, 2020

Vienna Mourns yet another Titanic in Bill Cervanak

For years, as a youth coach and administrator of multiple sports, Bill Cervenak was a pillar in the Vienna community, touching hundreds of lives.  More than a coach, though, Cervenak was maybe most regarded as a mentor who instilled the proper messages in his young players – leaving lasting impressions. Cervenak died in recent days from various health issues. He was 80.
“He was really such a nice gentle giant,” Gena Kuhblank said.  Cervenak was popular with his players. Some would shovel snow at his townhouse and approach him in restaurants to shake his hand. 

Madison High School head baseball coach Mark Gjormand had a long friendship with Cervenak, regularly meeting once a month on Saturday mornings for breakfast to talk about local baseball. “Bill Cervenak was an icon to so many in the Town of Vienna,” Gjormand said. “He was a valuable part of so many kids’ lives, doing his part to mold them into young men and adults, sometimes with a bark, but always with a laugh. He always told them, ‘just go have fun.’”

Al DeFazio coached with and served on the Vienna Little League board with Cervenak. “Bill was precisely what kids need – consistent, predictable, enthusiastic and a loud taskmaster who wanted just a little more from them than they might have felt like giving after a long day at school.”

Frank Blackstone, another board member with Cervenak, said: “He had a huge soft spot, and he definitely had a life of service. Unbelievable.”

In 2006, Cervenak was inducted into the Vienna Youth Inc.’s Hall of Fame.  Cervenak was born in Jersey City, N.J. As a youth he played baseball, football, basketball, volleyball and ran track. In high school, he was named all-county in basketball. In college, Cervenak played football at the University of Iowa.

After college, he served in the United States Marine Corps, then later worked at the Central Intelligence Agency for 33 years.