SOUTHINGTON- Richard A. "Buddy" Grimaldi, a lifelong resident of Southington died peacefully on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. He was the widower of Mary Ann (Morelli,) who passed away on Aug. 4, 1989.
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He was born on Center Street April 6, 1927, the son of the late Alphonse and Elvira 'Lena' (Tito) Grimaldi, Buddy grew up on Center Place along with his two sisters. Buddy left Lewis High in 1944 at the age of 17 in order to join the U.S. Navy with some of his high school friends. He served in the Pacific for the duration of World War II, as a ship's cook aboard the USS Medea. He was on one of the first two ships that entered Japan following the August, 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the war, Buddy opened up his own grocery store on Center Street, Grimaldi's, which he owned until the early 1970s. On April 18, 1949, Buddy married Mary Ann Morelli of Bristol St. They made their home at the corner of West and Mill Streets, where they raised three children. After selling his business, Buddy began to work for the State of Connecticut as a food inspector for the Department of Consumer Protection; a position he held until his retirement in 2001. Buddy loved to exercise. He was a life-long member of the YMCA. He loved Sunday dinners with his family. He also enjoyed travel. He was a geography expert, and loved reading atlases and encyclopedias. He also enjoyed history books and biographies. He was a past president of UNICO, and a life member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He is survived by his sister, Vera Zercie. Buddy is also survived by his children, Roberta and her husband, William Knoegel, of Southington, Richard A. Grimaldi, Jr., and his wife, Doree, of Waddell, Ariz., and Patricia and her husband, Paul Hackett, of Southington. His three grandchildren are Matthew Knoegel, Marianne Knoegel, and Lina Grimaldi. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. In addition to his parents and wife, Buddy was predeceased by his sister, Millicent Mucci.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Feb.1, at St. Thomas Church, 99 Bristol St., at 10:30 a.m. Burial with military honors will be at St. Thomas Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday, Jan. 31, from 4 to 7 p.m. For online condolences and directions visit
Della Vecchia Funeral Home
211 North Main Street
Southington, CT 06489
Published in The Record-Journal on Jan. 29, 2014