Waterford - Ferdinando "Fred" Brucoli, 79, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, at his home in Quaker Hill.
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Fred was born on Feb. 10, 1935, in Harrison, N.Y., to the late Ottavio and Angela (Longo) Brucoli. He liked to joke that his mother barely made it off the boat from Italy before he made it into the world.
Fred spent much of his youth living in Norwich, and graduated from Norwich Free Academy in 1952. He earned a bachelor of arts in English and history from the University of Connecticut in 1956, even though he occasionally had to hitchhike to Storrs from Norwich to attend classes. He continued his education at Lake Forest College, Eastern Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University. Believing that he should serve his country, Fred enlisted in the U.S. Army and became a personnel specialist at Fort Sheridan, Illinois during the end of the Korean War.
Mr. Brucoli had a long, successful career as a classroom teacher, which began at Ledyard Center School in 1959. He is fondly remembered by many for his 35-year tenure as a teacher of English at New London Junior High, where he also served as the English department's chairman for 25 years until his retirement in 1995. He also taught adult education courses for over a decade and coached the girls' cross-country and track teams in New London. The Rotary Club of New London recognized Mr. Brucoli as its Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1994.
On April 23, 1966, he married Edna Loehr. They settled in Quaker Hill in 1971, raised two children and enjoyed a life filled with friends, family and travel.
A member of the Democratic Town Committee, Fred was actively involved in town government, serving six terms on the Waterford Representative Town Meeting. Fred took a special interest in his community. Most notably, he was a member of the Recreation and Parks Commission and the Board of Trustees for the Waterford Public Library for many years. Many elementary students witnessed Mr. Brucoli's blacksmithing, a skill learned from his father, at Waterford Historical Society's Sheep to Shawl each spring. Mr. Brucoli was named Waterford's Citizen of the Year in 1997.
Fred served as a lay reader and Eucharistic minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Quaker Hill. He was a Justice of the Peace and married over 100 couples.
A lover of the arts, Fred directed plays for the Community Theater Players and was on the board of directors for the Southeastern Connecticut Arts Council.
He spent his summers in the 60's and 70's as a salesperson for Nabisco, and also worked as a part-time D.J. for WNLC and WTYD.
In addition to his wife, he leaves his children, Andrea Jones and her husband, Gordon Jones, of Atlanta and Marcus Brucoli and his wife, Deanna Brucoli, of Waterford; his beautiful grandchildren, Harrison and Connor Jones and Mikayla and Rocco Brucoli; his sisters, Anna Hansen of Uncasville and Lucy Ryley of Waterford; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home, 84 Montauk Ave., New London. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 1, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 63 Old Norwich Road, Quaker Hill.
Memorial donations may be made to Waterford Public Library, 49 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford or to
Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home
84 Montauk Ave.
New London, CT 06320
Published in The Day on Feb. 28, 2014