Charles Francolino, 98, of Newington passed away at home on Sunday, May 21, 2023.
Charles was born on December 3, 1924, in New Britain to Catherine (LaPenta) and Dominic Francolino. He graduated from New Britain High School and attended the University of Connecticut. He majored in Civil Engineering for one year before being drafted into the military and served two years in their Army Specialized Training Program for Engineering. After the war ended, he returned to UCONN and completed his degree. The day after graduation, he traded his books for his bride and married MaryAnn Canali, the love of his life, on Flag Day 1948.
He went on to work for several firms as a Structural Engineer, in Boston and Connecticut before venturing into a partnership in Connecticut with Robert Lapuk and settling into Newington with his young family in 1956.
Although he worked long hours, he always found time to support his sons’ school and sports activities. They included being a big fan at baseball, basketball and football games, and Cub Scout activities as his sons went through the ranks. He became a Cubmaster, leading an active Pack 341 and used his structural engineering skills to design and build a tightly spec’d pinewood derby track. His photography hobby led him to volunteer to be the Southeast (Ruth Chaffee) School class photographer for several years. He and MaryAnn made several trips to Florida to support Newington Pop Warner football games in the early 70’s.
He enjoyed bowling for many years, was active in several leagues, and “Chuck” was known to be able to bowl very well either left or right handed.
Upon retirement he traded his bowling ball for a set of golf clubs and enjoyed “Seniors Mondays” at Indian Hill Country Club, where he proudly always walked and carried his bag for the 9 holes well into his early 90’s.
Charles became an active member of the Newington Senior and Disabled Center and volunteered in many offerings including the Choices Insurance Program which helped Medicare eligible seniors navigate the health insurance options available. He was instrumental in the introduction, execution and volunteer training for the no cost AARP Tax Aid Program, and was often called upon as “precision cake cutter” at Center’s birthday celebrations.
Charles is survived by his wife of almost 75 years, MaryAnn, his sister, Rose Catenzaro, his sons: Donald (Becky), Robert (Barbara), John (Eileen), and Thomas (Donna); his grandchildren: Mark, Rick (Brett), Betsy, Matthew (Chelsea), Julie (Raymond) Inzero, Katie (Michael) Francolino-Ryan, and Kristea; and his great grandchildren: Charlie, Audrey, Jack, James, Adilyn, Cole, and Madison.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Peter and Anthony.
The family would like to express their appreciation for the care and attention given by Linda, Meisha, Janet, Alaa, Richie, Kristen, Sara and his home caregiver, Angelea.
Calling hours will be Thursday, May 25, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave, West Hartford CT. A Mass Christian Burial will be 12:00pm on Friday, May 26, at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 183 Church St, Newington. Burial will follow in West Meadow Cemetery, 679 Willard Ave, Newington. To view a livestream of the Mass of Christian Burial for Charles, please visit the Photos and videos section or follow this link http://client.tribucast.com/tcid/6535900079Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Special Olympics Connecticut (https://www.soct.org/) or a charity of your choice.