Mr. Joseph Anthony Avellani, Sr., age 90, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at his home. He was the loving husband of the late Adeline “Lee” (Forucci) Avellani.
Mr. Avellani was born on December 3, 1922 in Rocca di Mezzo, Italy, son of the late John and Maria (Righetti) Avellani. Joseph moved to the U.S. with his mother and sisters when he was just 5 years old. They joined his father in Oakville, CT and he remained a lifelong resident of the city. He attended Torrington Technical School earning an electrician apprenticeship just before enlisting in the military. He was a proud U.S. Navy Veteran having served with the Seabees. He wasn’t even a U.S. citizen and defended our country with great honor. He later used the G.I. Bill to put himself through college and earned a Master’s Degree from Southern CT Teacher’s College and worked for the Watertown Board of Education as an elementary school teacher for over 20 years mostly at Polk and Baldwin Schools. He was a devout Catholic and a lifelong communicant of St. Mary Magdalen Church where he also served as a Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Legion of Mary and taught religious education. He was recently awarded the St. Joseph’s Medal for his works with the Church from the Archdiocese of Hartford. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and VFW Post #7330.
Joseph was a creative, innovative and passionate teacher, who loved his students as a father. He was known for his sense of humor and joke telling. He enjoyed making people laugh. Most of all he was devoted to his family. His true joy was spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Joseph is survived by his son, John Avellani of Milford and his daughter, Marie Avellani with whom he made his home; his grandchildren, Judy Maloney and her husband Pat of Waterbury, Nick DeMatteis and his wife Jennifer of Litchfield, Tom DeMatteis of Oakville and Nicole Perrelli and her husband Mike of East Haven and his great-grandchildren, Erin, Griffin and Eliza Maloney, Sarah, Claudia and Nicholas DeMatteis, Joe, Natalia and Libby DeMatteis and Ava and Mya Perrelli. Joseph is also survived by his brother, Anthony Avellani of Naugatuck and his sisters, Pietrina Forcucci of Wolcott, Ina Forcucci of Prospect, Elizabeth Mecca of PA and FL as well as several nieces and nephews. In addition to Lee, his wife of 65 years, Joseph was also predeceased by his son, Joseph Avellani and his sister Ophelia Porcaro.
Joseph’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff of VNA Health Care, Hospice HOPE Team for their kind and compassionate care shown to Joseph while in their care.
The funeral will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 9:00am from Maiorano Funeral Home, 95 Willow St., Waterbury to St. Mary Magdalen Church for a Mass 10:00am. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Friday evening from 5:00-8:00pm. Memorial contributions may be made to: VNA Health Care, HOPE Team, 50 Brookside Rd., Waterbury, CT 06708 or St. Mary Magdalen School, 140 Buckingham St., Oakville, CT 06779.