James Sorrento, Educator, Former East Boston Camps Director, Passes at 84

James Sorrento, a longtime educator who spent many years as the East Boston Camps Waterfront Director has died.

Sorrento, who was born and raised in East Boston until moving to Revere, died on Tuesday, Feb. 26. He was 84 years old.

Mr. Sorrento  always called East Boston home, having attended local schools. It was in the neighborhood that Mr. Sorrento became a standout athlete and played both baseball and football at English High.

After high school Mr. Sorrento joined the army and served during the Korean War, stationed in Europe.

When he returned to East Boston after his military service, Mr. Sorrento took a job at the famed East Boston Camps, a place that sparked his lifelong passion of working with kids. It was here he met his wife, Rita, longtime chairwoman of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

“I am saddened to hear that Mr. Sorrento passed away,” said former City Councilor Sal LaMattina. LaMattina was both a camper and later a Waterfront Director at East Boston Camps where he mentored Mr. Sorrento’s two sons. “He was someone whom I looked up to. He was part of our East Boston Camps Family.  He was a former camp counselor and Waterfront Director, as I was.  I had his two boys at the Camps, but what I loved about Jimmy was his commitment and dedication and his love for his wife Rita. He supported her in all she did for East Boston, in the schools and the Health Center,” LaMattina said.

Sorrento earned a degree from Boston State, and worked as an Adjustment Counselor in Boston, a Title 1 Director in Revere, and a teacher at Lynn Public Schools.

However, he will always be remembered in East Boston as the loving and supporting husband on Mrs. Sorrento. The two were always together, whether it was a Health Center event or community celebration.

“All of us here at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center are devastated by the loss of Jimmy Sorrento and our hearts go out to Rita and her family”, said EBNHC President and CEO Manny Lopes.    “Rita has not only been our Board President for many years but was also an advocate for both health care and education on many levels and Jimmy was always right by her side.  He was always a gentleman, kind and caring and he will be deeply missed.”

Sorrento was a member of St. Anthony’s Parish, and his favorite pastimes included watching old movies, golfing and dancing. Jim loved to travel, near and far.

Above all,  Sorrento valued family, and enjoyed raising his two sons, and later spending time and sharing his knowledge with his grandchildren.

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