DONATO L. GONILLO - ESSEX JUNCTION - Donato L. Gonillo, 86, of Essex Junction, loving husband, dedicated father and lifetime educator, died Saturday, April 20, 2013, surrounded by his family. He married Rosemary A. Martinelli in 1956, and they lived in the Bunker Hill section of Waterbury, Conn., for 44 years. He was born on Dec. 29, 1926, in Waterbury, Conn., the sixth child of Joseph and Vita Mecca Gonillo. Don graduated from Croft High School in 1944. He spent two years in the U.S. Army at the end of World War II. Don graduated from Teachers College of Connecticut with a B.A. in education in 1950, and received a master's and 6th year degree from the University of Hartford. He began his teaching career at Merriman School as a math and science teacher. He later taught at Anderson School, became assistant principal and then principal. In 1970, he was named the Director of Adult Basic Education in Waterbury, Conn., and totally revamped the Adult Ed program. He was director for 30 years, until he retired in April 2000, and moved to Vermont to be closer to his family. He cherished his family and the success of his students both from grammar school and Adult Ed, and enjoyed talking to everyone. In his retirement, he served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Lawrence Church. If Don had not become a teacher, he would have been an expert landscaper, as he was a magician with a rake and shovel. Don also coached basketball and baseball at Anderson, winning the City Championship in baseball in 1964. He enjoyed taking his sons to Huntington Park for batting practice during the summer months, and made multiple treks to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx with Rosemary and the boys. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rosemary; sons, Joseph Gonillo and wife, Christina, of Essex Junction, and Vincent Gonillo and wife, Karen, of Essex Junction; grandchildren, Jenna Gonillo, Stacey Gonillo, Josh Gonillo and wife, Karen; brothers, Vito Gonillo and wife, Judith, and Salvatore Gonillo and wife, Gladys, all of Connecticut; and many nieces and nephews. Don was predeceased by his sisters, Maria Parlapiano, Catherine Signori, Joanne Cabana, and Mary Russo. Our sincere thanks and appreciation to the nurses and doctors of Baird 3 and Shepardson 3 at Fletcher Allen Health Care for their loving care of our father. All of them are indeed very special people. Visiting hours will be held on Monday evening, April 22, 2013, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ready Funeral Home, Mountain View Chapel, Pinecrest Drive, Essex Junction. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Essex Junction on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. To send online condolences to the family please visit In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Don's memory may be made to Essex Rescue Ambulance Service, 1 Educational Dr., Essex Junction, VT 05452; or to the Essex High School track and field team, 2 Educational Dr., Essex Junction, VT 05452, as a scholarship will be established in his name.

Funeral Home

Ready Funeral Service, Inc.
68 Pinecrest Drive Essex Junction, VT 05452
(802) 879-9477

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Apr. 22, 2013