1923 – 2011
Putnam – Philip Ceccarelli, 88, passed into the loving arms of God, Tuesday, August 30, 2011 in the Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam. He was born in Southbridge, MA, February 23, 1923 the son of Paulo and Leonida (Tulli) Ceccarelli from Italy. When he was twelve years old, he moved to Fabyan, CT.
He was employed on a local farm in Fabyan and later became part of the original six-person crew working at the John Dempsey Center Greenhouse Program. In those days, it is said that he was a “trail blazer” showing that individuals with disabilities could do real work and be valued for their contributions to their community. He was well respected for his ability to teach others with exceptional patience and caring. He will also be remembered for his strong work ethic, sense of humor and gentle nature. He always made sure that everyone’s birthday and special holidays were celebrated and remembered.
Philip had an eye and appreciation for beauty and was able to capture that in his artwork. He had a gift for drawing nature and religious pictures. He was proud of his work and loved giving away his art to make other people happy. Philip also took art classes at the Quinebaug Valley Community College and won a national Christmas card contest sponsored by the Arc of United States. He had a deep faith in God, which sustained him.
Philip moved to Pomfret in 1979 and lived at the Regina Pacis Villa. When he retired, he became a member of the Quinebaug Valley Senior Citizens Center and the Arc of Quinebaug Valley’s Retirement Services Program. He continued his artwork and also enjoyed bowling, table games, going on trips and jigsaw puzzles. Everyone who met Phil was greeted with a warm smile and a hearty handshake.
Philip resided at the Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam for the past 13 years. His family and friends thank the staff of Matulaitis and Dr. Cooper for the excellent care Phil received. He had many dear friends who will miss him greatly. He was predeceased by two brothers Albert and Arthur. He is survived by nephews and cousins in the Southbridge, MA area.
Relatives and friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial that will be celebrated at St. Mary Church of the Visitation Adoration Chapel on Marshall Street in Putnam on Monday, September 12, 2011, at 10:00 am. Burial will follow in Saint Mary Cemetery, Putnam. The Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St, Putnam, CT has been entrusted with arrangements. For memorial guestbook, please visit www.GilmanandValade.com.