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St. Elizabeth School inducts six individuals, one team into its hall of fame

Benedictine Sister Patricia Gamgort is helped to the podium by Joseph Papili to speak after being inducted into the St. Elizabeth School Hall of Fame on Oct. 24. Also inducted were Aaron Lewis, Robin Delle Donne, Rich Conway, Barbara Cresci, Elaine Manlove and the 1978-79 St. Elizabeth girls’ basketball team 1978-79. Photo/Don Blake

St. Elizabeth School inducted six individuals and one team into its hall of fame on Oct. 24. This was the third class to be honored.

The inductees are:

Aaron Lewis, Class of 2000. Lewis was a four-year varsity athlete in basketball and baseball, and as a football player, he became the starting quarterback and free safety his senior year. He was all-Catholic basketball first-team three times, and in baseball, he was a three-time first-team all-Catholic and all-state outfielder. Lewis continued his studies and athletic pursuits at Cecil Community College and Wilmington University, and he played baseball for nine years in the Delaware Semi-Pro League. A Wilmington police officer, he currently is the coach of the baseball state champion Delaware Military Academy. He and his wife, Michelle Azzanesi (Class of 2002) have three children.

Sister Patricia Gamgort, OSB, Class of 1955. Sister Patricia arrived at St. Elizabeth High School from St. Patrick School in Wilmington, and earned a degree in education from Seton Hall University and a master’s in religious education from La Salle University. She entered the Benedictine Sisters in Ridgely, Md., in 1955 and joined the faculty at her alma mater in 1966. She taught several subjects and was the dean qof studies. After leaving education, Sister Patricia served as prioress for the Ridgely Benedictines and also ministered at St. Martin’s Barn, assisting with the collection and distribution of food and clothing to her neighbors on the Eastern Shore. She was the executive director of St. Martin’s Ministries, and today she is director of pastoral care for the elderly sisters in the Dooley Center of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison, Kansas. She also volunteers with Catholic Charities.

Rich Conway, Class of 1995. Conway was a staple on the local sports pages while a Viking. He attended St. Elizabeth School for 12 years and played three sports in high school: football, wrestling and baseball. He established rushing and touchdown records that still stand. He was a first-team all-state selection in 1993, when the Vikings reached the Division II semifinal round, and 1994, when they won their first state championship. He was the winner of the 1994 Michael DeLucia Memorial Sportsmanship Award. He played for Tubby Raymond at the Univversity of Delaware. For the past 22 years, Conway has worked for Bank of America and currently serves as senior group operations manager in the consumer credit assistance division. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two sons. Conway has coached them in football and basketball.

Robin Delle Donne was a longtime member of the VKNation, performing many tasks for the school and parish. For 40 years, she could be found working at the concession stand, coaching a Catholic Youth Ministry basketball team or seated in the bleachers cheering on the Vikings. She and her husband, Tom, lived near the church, and their children attended St. Elizabeth School from kindergarten through high school. Delle Donne was an employee at the school as a teacher’s aide in kindergarten, she managed the Viking Shop both at The Box and the St. E Center, and she worked in the aftercare program. She was a dedicated volunteer at the parish and many of its events. She was recognized by the Diocese of Wilmington with the St. John Bosco Outstanding Youth Ministry award for her service. She died in August at the age of 68.

Elaine Manlove, Class of 1966. As a student at St. Elizabeth, Elaine Chadlee was a member of the Glee Club and Pep Club, as well as manager of the girls’ basketball team. She graduated from Goldey Beacom College and began her career in New Castle County government and the state Department of Elections as commissioner. Manlove helped increase the voter rolls, modernized equipment and brought elections into classrooms. For years, she helped organize the St. Patrick’s Day Mass and Breakfast in Wilmington that raises money for the St. Patrick’s Day Society. At St. Elizabeth, she helped organize reunions and kept classmates connected. She retired from the state in 2019.

Barbara Cresci, Class of 1954. Cresci is a lifelong St. Elizabeth parishioner who played several sports and excelled at basketball as a student. As Barbara Mulrooney, she set the girls’ single-game scoring record, a mark that stood for 24 seasons (1954-78) until fellow St. Elizabeth hall of famer Penny Welsh broke the record in 1979. She has been a lifelong volunteer in the parish. She was active in the elementary school’s athletic program, and she helped with two renovations of The Box, the original gymnasium. She spearheaded a fundraising campaign to purchase wrestling mats and other equipment. Cresci lent her expertise to the creation of the first Viking sportswear shop; the creation of Little Viking Daycare; the role of dean of prospective students (now director of admissions); and the St. Elizabeth High School Advisory Board. She was a member of parish council. She also helped organize several events at the parish. She and her husband, Joe, sent four children through St. Elizabeth, and five of their grandchildren also have attended.

The 1979 girls basketball team was the school’s first state champion in the sport. Led by coach Frank Aiello and assistants Marty Cross and Jack Lemley, the Vikings had seven seniors and finished the regular season 17-2 with an average margin of victory that exceeded 20 points. They dispatched McKean, Laurel and Concord in the state tournament before meeting Tower Hill for the championship On March 9, 1979. Against the Hillers, Welsh scored 28 points in a 46-38 victory, sparking a celebration that included the ringing of the church bells as the team bus approached the school. The Vikings have since won five more state championships, and they were still in the tournament when it was canceled in 2020.