Easthampton man killed in South Deerfield crash was WWII veteran, former teacher and coach


Staff Writer
Published: 9/9/2022 6:31:42 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The 97-year-old Easthampton man who died in a crash on Labor Day morning in South Deerfield was a World War II veteran and former history teacher and football coach at Northampton High School.

Eugene B. DeFilippo, 97, was driving his vehicle on Route 116 at the intersection with Industrial Drive at around 10:30 a.m. when it collided with a commercial truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

A passenger in his car was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the truck and a passenger in the truck remained at the scene and were cooperative with investigators, according to the DA’s office. They were evaluated by medical personnel, but didn’t require additional treatment.

In 2018, the Daily Hampshire Gazette profiled DeFilippo after he and his wife, Anne, journeyed to Washington D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial. DeFilippo was a World War II veteran who flew in 52 bombing missions, going off to war at 18.

“We were young and we were foolish,” DeFilippo said at the time. “I joined the Army Air Corps six months out of high school.”

After returning to the U.S., he used the GI Bill to attend the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, where he was a quarterback on the football team and played in the 1946 Orange Bowl.

DeFilippo later became a history teacher and vice principal at Northampton High School. He was also the Blue Devils’ football coach from 1955 to 1968.

The crash investigation continues following a response by Deerfield Police officers as well as State Police troopers with the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS) and the Detective Unit assigned to the DA’s office.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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