MERIDEN >> Joseph Peter Petruzelo of Meriden CT, much beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother-in law, and uncle, passed away peacefully on July 3, 2013 at home surrounded by family. He was born in Meriden on April 29, 1928 and attended local primary schools, graduating from Williston Academy in East Hampton, MA in 1946. He was predeceased by his parents, Rose & Peter Petruzelo, and his two sisters, Anne Mesite and Lucille Lewis. He leaves his devoted and loving wife of 62 years, Elizabeth Fulin Petruzelo, and his children, Paula Backman and her husband Keith of Old Saybrook and Peter Petruzelo of Durham. He also leaves his grandchildren, Ryan Backman and his wife Jonna of Wilton and their two children, Maddox and Liam; Erica Janson and her husband Keith of Avon; and Haley Petruzelo of Durham.
Joe began his career as president of the family business, The Petrose Hotel, where in 1947 the Petruzelo family installed Meriden's first public TV. It was during the early '60's that he founded The Petruzelo Insurance Agency, Inc. and became owner/manager of Travel Unlimited of Meriden and Putnam. Over the years Joe was active in several local civic organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, the North Italian Home Club, and the Elks Club
. Joe also served as president of the Unison Club. In the early 70's, he was involved in local and state politics and became Republican Town Chairman for the City of Meriden.
His passions were many. He traveled extensively. From hunting moose in Newfoundland, to sport fishing in Alaska, he relished opportunities to visit new places and share his experiences with family and friends. He was an incredible cook, a skill he acquired working alongside his father, a restauranteur and chef. His enthusiasm for teaching and advising young people left a long-enduring influence on the lives of his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and others.
He will be remembered and missed by all who knew him for his bigger than life personality, his sense of humor, his extraordinary generosity of heart and devotion to family and friends.
The family would like to thank Franciscan Hospice Care and VNA Home Health Services of Meriden for the wonderful and compassionate care Joe received during the course of his illness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 109 Goodwill Avenue, Meriden. Everyone is asked to meet directly at the church. Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery. There will be no calling hours. The John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main St., Meriden is entrusted with the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to: The
, New England Division, 39 Richards Ave. Norwalk, CT. 06854-2328. For online condolences please visit www.jferryfh.com.