Obituaries & Tributes

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Current Services for Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory These funeral listings represent services entrusted to our care over the past 15 days.

  • Alvar Miraballes
    on February 15, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Alvar O. Miraballes, 89, of Stamford, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Alvar was born in Uruguay on July 29, 1934, to the late Lazaro and Rosa Miraballes. Loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was happiest when surrounded by his family and friends, cooking on his parrilla, and listening to the music of Gardel. He will be forever missed. Alvar is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Rosa Miraballes, his daughter Anny Lesko and her husband Bill, his son Eddie Miraballes, his grandson Billy Lesko and his brother Rene Miraballes and his wife Sylvia, as well as many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Alvar is predeceased by his brother Johnny Miraballes. Family and friends may call at the Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Myrtle Avenue. Stamford, CT on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, with a service being held at 12:00 PM. Interment will follow at St. John’s RC Cemetery, Darien. To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com.

  • Joseph Valentine
    on February 13, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Joseph Peter Valentine, Jr., 76 of Darien, CT passed away on February 13th. Born in Stamford, CT on May 21, 1947 to the late Joseph and Grace (Scalise) Valentine. Joe is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patricia (Barosky) Valentine, his brother Bobby Valentine (Junko) of Stamford, his children, Tricia of Norwalk, Joe (Kim) of Lafayette Hill, PA, Anthony (Jennifer) of Avon, Brian (Lisa) of Greenwich, his grandchildren, Samantha, Jessica, Jake, Connor, and Alissa, his brothers-in-law, Stanley Barosky (d. Angela) and Robert Barosky (Lori). Joe is also survived by several nephews and extended family. Joe grew up in Stamford, where he attended J.M. Wright Technical School. He was the star catcher on the baseball team and the king of his senior prom. After graduating as a Tool and Die Maker, he served six years as part of the National Guard-Battery C 2nd Battalion 192nd Division. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Patricia, they settled in Darien to start a family. He then opened his own business, Joe Valentine Machine Company. Joe worked there with his wife for 47 years. Joe was a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 41 in Stamford. When he wasn’t working, he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren, attending sporting events, school plays, and dance recitals. His motto was always family first. He enjoyed many vacations spent with family and friends. When he wasn’t napping on his favorite couch with remote in hand, he enjoyed watching baseball, Blue Bloods or Law and Order. He was a Mets season ticket holder for more than 20 years but wasn’t a true fan until his brother became the manager. Joe will be remembered for his kindness and generosity along with his willingness to help others. One of his greatest attributes was making friendships that would last a lifetime. Family and friends are invited to visit on Tuesday, February 20th from 4 PM to 8 PM at the Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home, 104 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford, CT. A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, February 21st at 10:00 AM at St. John Catholic Church, 1986 Post Rd, in Darien, CT. In lieu of flowers the family asks you donate to either St. Jude’s or Shriners Hospital. To leave a condolence message online please visit www.cognetta.com.

  • Carmino Santaniello
    on February 13, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Carmino A. Santaniello passed away on February 13, 2024. He was born in 1944 in Quindici, Italy and immigrated to Springfield, MA in 1954. For over 35 years, he was the owner of Santaniello Opticians in Springfield. He was an avid gardener, golfer, bowler, and Boston sports fan. Carmino was the devoted husband of 44 years to Deborah; the beloved father to Adriana (Nicholas), Allyssa (David), Carmine (Emily) and Vincenzo and the loving Nonno to Ava, Linley, Evan, Alexandra, Alivia and Addison. He is also survived by his sisters Rosa Napolitano, Gaetana Basile, and Carmela Santaniello. He was predeceased by his brothers Antonio Santaniello, Duilio Santaniello and Mario Santaniello. Family and friends are invited to gather on Sunday, February 18, 2024 from 1 – 4 PM at Forastiere Smith Funeral & Cremation, 220 North Main Street, East Longmeadow, MA. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit www.forastiere.com

  • Ida Saunders
    on February 12, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Ida was born April 13, 1932 to Pasqualina and Antonio Conte. Both of her parents emigrated from Italy and settled on Orchard Street, in the Waterside section of Stamford. It is here where she was raised and once married, she moved to Wells Avenue, in the Waterside section of Stamford, to raise her four children. We, the four children, April, Thomas (Bink), Jeffery (Bink’s Brother) and Marylee, being participants from the beginning, were all present at the end. It was a fitting tribute to a life well lived and none of us would have had it any other way. Ida was a good mother to her children, sister to her siblings (Rose, Matilda, Mary and Mike), grandmother to her 6 grandchildren, great grandmother to her 8 great grandchildren, aunt to her many nieces and nephews, and above all, a good person to all. Her physical presence may be no longer, but the memories of our time with her will always be fresh, like they just happened yesterday. “Thanks for the pastry, Bobby.” I. A. S.

  • Carmela Tortorello
    on February 10, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Carmela Tortorello, affectionately known as Auntie or AC passed away peacefully on December 14, 2023. She was 92 years young. Carmela grew up in NJ and spent the last 6 years living with her brother in Westport, CT. She was born in Newark, NJ to Sam and Lucy Tortorello on February 1, 1931. Carmela was raised in Newark and Scotch Plains, where she graduated from Scotch Plains High School in 1948. She worked for Prudential, beginning as a key punch operator, working her way up to the secretary of the President of Prudential. She retired in 1986 and moved to Toms River, NJ, where she spent time traveling and visiting with friends and family. Over the years, Carmela enjoyed reading, singing, dancing, traveling, organizing, collecting Hummel figures and angels, cooking, eating Hors d’oeuvres (especially shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers), and she was an avid Yankee fan. Her New Year’s parties were second to none, always planning a wonderful menu and lots of family fun! Carmela is predeceased by her parents, Sam & Lucy and her sister-in-law, Mary Lou. She is survived by her brother, Vincent, and her nephew and nieces, David (Maryellen), Marylou (Jeff) and Donna (Jim); her great nieces and nephew, Sarah (Jake), Willie (Megan), Ali (Blake), and Jewels; and her five great-great nieces and nephews, Cambridge, Tucker, Dean, Chloe, and Tess; along with many cousins. Memorial Mass will be Celebrated on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 11:00AM at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., Westport, CT

  • Lynn Soffio
    on February 9, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Lynn Ann Soffio (née Settle), aged 69, passed away peacefully on February 9, 2024 at Stamford Hospital. She was born on March 19, 1954 in East St. Louis, MO to Herbert & Jean Settle. A woman of immense strength and compassion, Lynn dedicated her life to nurturing her family and building her community in Connecticut and abroad, with friends spanning the globe from Scotland, to South Africa, to Latvia and beyond. Before landing in Connecticut, life brought her to Texas, Georgia, and New York—a path charted not by caution, but by the free-spiritedness and generosity. And through every state, through every chance encounter, she left an indelible mark. Lynn was an avid music collector and, in her youth, a concert-goer. While she famously did not make it to Woodstock because her van broke down, she was fond of sharing her concert experiences with her friends and family. Her infectious kindness, sharp intuition, love of UK band UB-40, and delicious chicken soup with dill will be sorely missed, but her spirit lives on in the stories shared and memories made. She is survived by husband Nate of Stamford, son Nathan with wife Tess of Philadelphia, PA; mother Jean of Columbia, MO; sister Deborah with children Bianca and Kyle of Conway, SC; and David with wife Shquita of Las Vegas, NV. And the family cat, Shiloh. She was preceded in death by father, Herbert, and brother, Kenneth. And the other family cat, Olive. A celebration of her life will be held at Cognetta Funeral Home in Stamford, CT on Saturday, February 24 at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to the American Lung Association.

  • Daniel Ceci
    on February 6, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Daniel Joseph Ceci, 32 passed away suddenly on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, with his loving family by his side. Daniel was born on August 27, 1991, in Greenwich, Connecticut. Daniel Ceci, a vibrant soul taken from us too soon. He was a selfless and compassionate son, brother, and friend. His unwavering dedication to others defined a life of purpose and kindness. Whether through small gestures or profound acts, he touched hearts and left an incredible mark on those fortunate enough to know him. Daniel will be remembered not only for his generosity but also for the profound love for his family and his friends. He had a warmth that radiated from his soul. May his legacy of selflessness inspire us all to live with greater empathy and love. Though the pain of his departure is profound, let us celebrate the joy and vitality he brought into our lives during his time with us. May Daniel Rest in Eternal Peace. Daniel is survived by his loving parents, Luigi R. Ceci and Teresa Kozlowski Ceci of Stamford, and his brothers Francesco Ceci and his wife Brittney of North Carolina and Roberto Ceci of Stamford. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Daniel was predeceased by his grandparents Francesco and Maria Ceci and Julian and Honorata Kozlowski. Family and Friends may call at The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Myrtle Ave., Stamford, CT on Monday, February 12, 2024 from 4:00PM to 8:00PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at St. Mary’s RC Church, 566 Elm Street, Stamford, CT at 10:00AM Interment will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Daniel to Rheumatology Research Foundation, by visiting Rheumresearch.org

  • Marc Pensiero
    on February 6, 2024 at 5:00 am

    Marc A. Pensiero, 57, a lifelong Stamford resident, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, February 6, 2024. Marc was born in Stamford on June 6, 1966, to Marco and Elizabeth (Craig) Pensiero. He graduated from the Plumbing and Heating program at JM Wright Technical High School and worked as a plumber for many years before retiring. In addition to his parents, Marc is survived by his sister, Melissa McShane, his nephew, Aidan McShane and niece, Maggie McShane, as well as an uncle, Ian MacCabe and many loving cousins. Marc was predeceased by his brother Frank Pensiero. Calling hours will be Monday, February 12th, 2024 from 10 am - 12 pm at Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home, 104 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford, with a prayer service at 11:45 am. Interment will follow at Fairfield Memorial Park, 230 Oaklawn Avenue, Stamford, СТ. To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com

  • Philip Panzeca
    on October 26, 2023 at 4:00 am

    Professor Philip J. Panzeca, 92, of Ridgefield, CT, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 26, 2023. Born in Brooklyn, New York to John Panzeca and Mary (Montalbano) Panzeca; pre-deceased by his wife Jane (Quinn) Panzeca and siblings Anthony Panzeca (Julie) and Marie LeKanides (John), he was a devoted son, husband, cherished father to his three daughters, role model to his two grandsons, affectionate brother to his two siblings and a caring brother-in-law, uncle, and cousin. Philip was proud of the fact he never missed a day of school and graduated from the prestigious Brooklyn Tech High School in 1949. After high school, he enlisted during the Korean War and served in the first Marine division, fifth battalion as Sergeant. Philip received the Korean Service Medal and UN Service Medal and was honorably discharged in 1953. Married to Jane in 1955, he resided on Long Island until 1996, thereafter relocating to Florida. He graduated from Hofstra University on the G.I. Bill in 1957, received an M.B.A. in 1964 and an M.S. in 1970 from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, now known as the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Philip obtained several national science, mathematics and engineering honor society distinctions and was also awarded an Industrial Engineering fellowship through the National Science Foundation. A full professor of Computer Science and Industrial Engineering at Hofstra University for forty years, he remained Professor Emeritus until his death. He was a natural in the classroom and loved teaching his undergraduate and graduate students. At Hofstra University, he served as Computer Science Department Chair for Graduate Studies; Assistant Dean for Computer Studies at the University College for Continuing Education; and In-House Consultant: University Space, Energy and Telecommunication Studies. He was a lifelong teacher in other areas, too, with eager apprentices learning how to ride a bike, put a worm on a hook, swim, pack the trunk of the car, mow the lawn, convert fractions into decimals, drive (“don’t follow too closely”), paint, lay a stone patio, plant a tree, tinker in the garage and all things sports related. The family will always cherish annual lakeside vacations surrounded by relatives in adjoining cabins, as well as the frequent road trips to Florida. Philip enjoyed golf and was a single digit handicap for many years and was thrilled hitting a “hole in one” more than a couple of times. He often cited those years of walking and playing golf for contributing to his later stamina and strength. In addition to golf, Philip was happiest being with family, where he shared the awe and wonder of space shuttle launches, frequent trips to Disney and the comfort of delicious homemade meals followed by card games and puzzles around the dining room table. A resident of Ridgefield since 2016, where he lived with his daughter, Ellen, and grandson Phil, he became a neighborhood fixture sitting on the front porch, waving to dog walkers and people passing by. Throughout the years, he remained an avid sports fan of the Giants, Yankees, and women’s collegiate sports, especially the UCONN women’s basketball team. His love of sports continues as a legacy to those who loved him. Philip is survived by his three daughters: Mary Beth Wright, of Enfield, CT; Ellen Panzeca, of Ridgefield, CT; and Rev. Dr. Jane Cloutier of Stamford, CT. In addition, two grandsons survive him: Matthew Cloutier and Philip Panzeca, II. The family is grateful to the physicians, nurses and office staff who provided compassionate and extraordinary care to Philip as well as providing comfort to the family, with special mention to: Kirsten Hohmann, MD; Evelyn Cusack, MD; Alex Ortega, MD; Brenda Chan, MD and Anne Hyson, MD. Friends, family, former students, colleagues, and the community are invited to a memorial service to celebrate Philip’s life at St. Paul’s on The Green Church in Norwalk, CT at 12PM on Saturday, November 18th. The burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Prof. Philip J. Panzeca Professional Engineering Review Program Endowed Scholarship at Hofstra University at http://www.hofstra.edu/panzeca; or, contact Hope Motreuil, Director for Annual Giving and Stewardship at: 516-463-6336 or via email, at: mailto:hope.motreuil@hofstra.edu. To offer online condolences and to share memories, please visit: http:///www.cognetta.com.

  • Malcolm McNiven
    on October 19, 2023 at 4:00 am

    Malcolm A. McNiven, 93, of Stamford, CT, passed away peacefully in his home on October 19th, 2023. Malcolm was born in Oceanside, NY to William and Hazel McNiven on December 8, 1929 and older brother William II. He spent most of his childhood in Long Beach, NY which he always described with happy memories. He attended Denison University where he studied psychology and met his wife, Elaine Vellacott. They were married June 12, 1954. After graduating from Denison, Malcolm earned his Master’s Degree at Ohio University and his PhD at Penn State University in Experimental Psychology. He began his career as a teacher with Penn State and then with the University of Maryland teaching military personnel overseas based in Europe. He later served as Adjunct Associate Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Visiting Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. He transitioned to corporate Market Research when he accepted a position with The Dupont Co. in 1957. There he pioneered groundbreaking advertising research that was foundational to the rest of his career. He went on to lead Marketing departments for The Coca Cola Company, Pillsbury, IMS International, and Bank of America. He returned to academia in 1988 as the Director of the Center for Marketing Studies at the University of Georgia, where he retired in 1998. Malcolm was active in many professional organizations. He was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, served as Director of the Association of National Advertisers and The Audit Bureau of Circulation, and as a Trustee of the Marketing Science Institute. His text, How Much to Spend for Advertising, for which he was both editor and author, remained for years an often-cited work in the field. He is noted in Who’s Who as a Marketing Educator. He also dedicated himself to Denison University serving on the Board of Trustees and other roles for decades, earning the title of life Trustee. Throughout his life, he enjoyed sailing with his family and friends, playing with his dog Polo, and working on classic sports cars such as his favorite TR3. Malcolm is survived by his wife Elaine, and children Geoff McNiven, Sue Reville and Jane Thompson, and grandchildren Sean, Scott and Maggie Reville and Eric Thompson. Memorials may be given to First Congregational Church of Greenwich.