It was a Quiet Autumn Day — Henry Chiariello

bildeOct. 2, 1981, it was a quiet autumn day, a Friday, and Henry Chiariello’s 30th birthday.

The teacher was showing a film to his class at Greenville High School in South Carolina when, around 10 a.m., there was a knock at the door. A 17-year-old student, spoke to Chiariello in the doorway for a few minutes. Then, witnesses later testified, the student pulled out a butcher knife and stabbed Chiariello in the heart.

The teacher and wrestling coach fell into the hallway. One student used his shirt to cover the wound and a teacher cradled Chiariello until the ambulance came. As he lay on the floor, Tony says, Henry, a questioning Catholic, asked for a priest and asked his colleague to call his love, Dianne Hill, and his parents, who lived in Greenville.

Henry was rushed to Greenville Memorial Hospital just a few miles away. The first edition of the day’s afternoon paper reported that Henry was in critical condition. But after four hours of surgery to repair the internal organ damage and remove the knife, he died on the operating table.

To help honor Henry Chiariello

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One thought on “It was a Quiet Autumn Day — Henry Chiariello

  1. I was student teaching at Greenville High School the spring before Coach Chiariello’s death. My classroom was right across the hall from his. Coach was a dedicated teacher who brought out the best in his students and was a great help and encouragement to me.

    I didn’t hear about his death until a year later, as I had graduated and took a job in another state. I was stricken with grief over the loss of this great man.

    Almost 40 years later I’m still thinking about the impact Coach had on my life. Although his life was cut short by senseless violence, his legacy endures through the students he taught and coached, and through me as I continue to practice many of the skills he shared with me while mentoring a student teacher in the spring of ‘81 at Greenville High School.

    Rest In Peace, Coach. Job well done.

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