hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


March 27, 2014

Rudy's Tigers still have a growl

Remaining members of fitness group aging, but still on the go

They call themselves Rudy’s Tigers — a relentless, never-say-die bunch of fitness buffs who are putting old age to shame.

You’ll find them most any day at the Greater Haverhill YMCA working the treadmills and elliptical machines, fighting off the tired bones and aching bodies that sometimes impede folks even younger than them.

Talk to 90-year-old Ted DeRoche, the patriarch of the group, and he’ll be the first to admit that exercise is a way of life. Doing it with others — your best friends — makes it more compatible.

DeRoche spent his working years at AT&T Technologies and his non-working years visiting a wife who was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease for eight years. Only when he climbed mountains did he hand over the visitation rights to another member of his family. They came anyway at other times so DeRoche could maintain a life of fitness.

The “professor” of Rudy’s Tigers, as he’s known, is Dr. Gene Grillo, another AT&T product who spent 35 years teaching physiology and biochemistry at Boston University. For 16 years, he was a city councilor in Haverhill. Few have loved this city more than him.

Then there’s Morris Piccolo. You may know him as the city’s Realtor emeritus. Despite his 84 years, he’s still selling houses, bouncing up and down the streets with many a community interest, and dodging one physical impediment after another.

The “baby” of the group, at age 76, is Bernie Clohisy, the guy who’s a self-appointed sergeant-at-arms, keeping the crew in order. He, too, is an AT&T retiree and has kept Gazette readers informed over the years with his nostalgic snippets.

They are all protégés of Rudy Valenzi, a former fitness director at the YMCA, who started this group 45 years ago. At one time, they numbered 300. Now, there are four originals remaining. Another Tiger, Danny Piccolo, hopped aboard two years after the group formed.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 140808_HG_HAND_CUTTING

    Attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Marjorie Goudreault walkway are, from left, Elizabeth Delgado, special assistant to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera; John Dimitry, former NECC president, and his wife, Audrey; Steven Buturlia of Pelham; Kelsy Buturlia of Pelham; Barbara Goudreault of Haverhill; Christopher Goudreault of Haverhill; Mary Goudreault of Tewksbury; Bill Moynihan of Haverhill, chair of NECC's Board of Trustees; Julie Reynolds of Middleton, N.H.; Patrick Goudreault of Haverhill; Matthew Goudreault of Haverhill; Lynn Morton of Tucson, AZ; Ann Corey of Atkinson; and NECC President Lane Glenn.

    'She was passionate about what she believed' Posted 5 days ago 2 Photos
  • The city wants you Posted 5 days ago

    Joseph Roach is the new CEO and President for Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley in Haverhill. He is standing in front of the hospital located in Haverhill. CARL RUSSO/Staff photo

    No, you're not in Methuen Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo
  • The Lamp Post Posted 5 days ago

    AMY SWEENEY/Staff photoRoyal Nails and Spa offers the best manicure, according to a vote by readers of the Gazette.

    More than just a mani-pedi Posted 5 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140717_HG_MSC_BURGER_3

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo The Lasting Room burger with hand-cut fries is a favorite of customers.

    Lasting Room burgers make for lasting impressions Posted 5 days ago 3 Photos
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES3 [Duplicate]

    AP Photo/Yoobi Yoobi Pretzel Erasers make going back to school fun.

    Sharpening up for class Posted 5 days ago 8 Photos

    Staff file photo Buffalo boneless ribeye steak is offered at Haverhill Beef Company on Merrimack Street. Here, owner Peter Carbone holds a tray of freshly cut pieces.

    Get far more than beef at Haverhill Beef Posted 5 days ago 3 Photos

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Elaine Saragas serves coffee at Heav'nly Donuts.

    Best coffee brewing at Heav'nly Donuts Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Pentucket Bank President Scott Cote, left, and financial adviser Kevin McKinnon talk in the main lobby of the bank's Merrimack Street branch.

    Pentucket Bank is tops Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo

Photos of the Week