June 2021 Father's Day Issue. Story by Heather DiPrato. Photos by Michele Freiling Photography.
Michael “Mick” Petrucci is well-known and loved in the Newtown community. He grew up in Fallsington, the son of Sandy Petrucci and Hall of Fame bowler Mickey Petrucci. Mick’s dad came from a large family of six boys and three girls. “All of the brothers were bowlers and many of them were barbers. My dad was on the senior pro bowlers tour,” says Mick. “In his youth, he was an amazing baseball player and courted by the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball organization while playing AAA. My mother is also a well-known face in Newtown. She has worked at Sparkle Car Wash as a cashier on and off for over 30 years!”
Mick attended Council Rock Schools and had an interest in business at a young age. Before Mick had even graduated high school, he convinced his dad to help him purchase an ice cream business from his uncle. “I started Petrucci‘s Ice Cream Company when I was 17,” Mick explains. After high school, he attended Bucks County Community College for marketing and public relations, but his focus was always on business. “Within a few years, I began building franchises across the country in the frozen dessert industry,” he explains. “It grew quickly.” Mick was also a partner in a commercial construction company focused on interior buildouts for many national and regional chain stores.
In 1998, at just 25 years of age, Mick became the youngest recipient of the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by Ernst & Young, and was profiled on CNN, but kept a sense of humility and service. Mick co-founded the Shop with a Cop project to help underprivileged youth during the holidays. He is the former president of the Newtown Business Association and served on NBA’s board for more than 10 years.
Mick is very active in the Newtown Rotary, an Emcee at the Holiday Parade, a longstanding Judge at the talent show for the Grange fair, and helps with the homeless shelter and local food pantry. In the mid-2000s, Mick shifted his career focus to civic service. He attended the Temple Law Enforcement Academy to obtain his Act 44 Certification and becoming a Pennsylvania State Constable in 2008. Today he serves as an elected Judge in PA’s Magisterial District Court 07-2-07 which covers the Borough of Newtown, as well as the Townships of Newtown, Upper Makefield, and Wrightstown. When not presiding in court, Mick can be found volunteering, supporting local charitable organizations, and focused on helping make the community stronger.
Even with these impressive accomplishments, the thing that makes him the proudest is raising his two beautiful children, Anthony (22), and Angela (20) with his wife and best friend, Karen. “Mick has always been the best father,” says Karen. “No matter how much he worked or how busy he was, he was always there for all of their extracurricular activities. He has shown support to them in everything they did both growing up and now. His parenting style was always fair but firm, and he taught our children life lessons they carry with them today.”
Mick and Karen have been married for nearly 25 years and first met and started dating while in high school. “My friend was dating her older sister,” Mick reminisces. “He said he would introduce me to Karen, and as soon as we met, we became best friends almost instantly. Our first date was at the Burger King in Penndel, and when she ordered french fries, I knew she was a keeper!” The couple married on January 23, 1997, at the Monte Carlo Resort in Las Vegas.
The Petruccis raised their children to value and embrace “service above self” and encourage a spirit of volunteerism and community service. “Mick has been very involved in our community for as long as I can remember,” says Karen. “Both Anthony and Angela grew up watching Mick donating his time to our community and others who needed his help. He is a true believer in ‘service before self’ and has instilled those values in Anthony and Angela. He used to bring them to events so they could see the impact that could be made in the community!”
Karen Petrucci studied nursing and today works as the Assistant Director of Nursing at Crestview Center, a healthcare provider and senior living community in Langhorne, PA. “She works harder than just about anyone I know,” says Mick. “She absolutely loves her facility, patients, and staff, and gives 100% effort all day, every day. Nurses truly are special people!”
The duo are incredibly proud of their children, “My son Anthony has grown into one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met,” says Mick. “He is a kind passionate soul and is currently attending barber school in West Chester Pennsylvania. He’s very excited and motivated to start his career. He attended Bucks County community college working toward his business administration degree. “Our daughter Angela is currently attending West Chester University obtaining her degree in early education,” says Karen. “She is a talented cheerleader and she and her team have won many championship awards. She is passionate about helping special-needs individuals and has the heart of gold!”
As they look back at nearly 25 years together, the couple recalls so many special times. “We have great memories,” says Karen. “I remember Mick used to have an Elmo costume that he would put on to surprise our children when they were growing up. They believed Elmo really visited them and it was priceless to see their faces! Mick would even wear it on Halloween night to spread the holiday spirit. All the children and their families loved trick-or-treating at our house knowing Elmo would be there.” Mick laughs, remembering that fuzzy red suit. “Beyond the amazing memories we’ve already made,” he says. “I’m excited about our future. We are still best friends.”
In their spare time, the Petruccis enjoy spending time with family and the beach. “We don’t travel much, but we do enjoy weekends in Brigantine New Jersey at our condo,” Mick shares. “The only annual trip we take is visiting in-laws in Florida, or family in Newport, Rhode Island.” When they are able, they like to unplug and enjoy nature. “We all work very hard at our jobs and community events,” says Mick. “So, when we do go away, we like to relax and listen to the waves of the ocean crash!”
Asked about hobbies, Mick says, “I’m a big fan of going crabbing down the shore, reading about real estate and investments, and of course watching the Eagles, Phillies, and the 76ers!” The family is happy in their Newtown Crossing neighborhood. “We love the location. We live on a cul-de-sac, so it’s pretty quiet, and our neighbors are fantastic,” says Mick. Everybody looks out for everyone else. We have our own neighborhood parades and events, and during the pandemic, we saw many drive-by celebrations, including for our son when he turned 21.
With their children pursuing education and working towards independence, the Petrucci’s expanded their family by adopting a puppy in November. “Her name is Luna, and she is a Chihuahua mix,” says Mick. “She was born on August 26, 2020, and rescued from Mississippi.” Luna is the perfect fit for their family. “We treat her like our third child,” laughs Karen. “She loves to snuggle, and we have yet to hear her bark!”
As we complete our interview, I ask Mick about the philosophies of the Newtown Rotary, and why it has meant so much to him. He explains, “Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.” From everything we can see, the Petrucci family has clearly made an impact in the Newtown community, and on the lives of others!