Nunziato J. Maio, 93, a longtime Portland resident, died Wednesday, November 29th at Buckingham Heights in Glastonbury, CT.
Nunzi was born on December 21st, 1929, in Barre, MA to Fillipe and Rosa (Orlando) Maio, the second of their four children. He graduated from Barre High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and a Master of Science degree in chemistry from The Ohio State University.
Nunzi met Ruth Seneshale in Salt Lake City, UT while serving with the US Air Force. They were married on July 7th, 1956 and moved back east to settle in Portland, CT and raised their daughters, Maureen and Kim. The Maios were parishioners at St. Mary Church in Portland.
Nunzi had a long, distinguished career with United Technologies Fuel Cell Division in South Windsor, CT. He helped develop the fuel cells that powered NASA space shuttles. After taking early retirement from UTC in 1988, he had a 25-year second act with H&R Block preparing tax returns. Nunzi was a member of the Portland Golf Club, winning the club championship in 1981 and 2004. He was an avid bowler who continued to play with his UTC team until well into his eighties. Nunzi and Ruth were dedicated volunteers who ran the Portland Food Bank that has been renamed in their honor.
In addition to his parents, Nunzi was predeceased by his sister, Fortunata; brothers-in-law Amerigo Simeone and Leo Jolly; sister-in-law Lee Maio.
Nunzi is survived by Ruth, his loving wife of 67 years; his siblings Anthony and Angelina; his children: Maureen (Michael) Duffy, Kimberly (Stephen) Franklin; four grandchildren: Meghan, Erin, Michelle, and Kelly; one great-grandchild, Roísín, and his nephews, nieces, and their families.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, December 2nd at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church, Portland. Burial with full military honors will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Portland. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
The Maio family is deeply grateful to the dedicated staff at Buckingham Heights, where Nunzi moved on October 10th, 2022. He was in the best of hands thanks to their attention and kindness. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Portland Food Bank.
Elderrean “Ellie” (Yost) Paules, 74, of Middletown, Connecticut passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Thursday, November 23rd. She was born in Newville, Pennsylvania on April 5th, 1949 to Frederick and Treva (Nelson) Yost and was the youngest of eleven siblings.
Ellie graduated from Big Spring High School in 1967 and attended the Greater Pittsburgh Guild for the blind. She owned Ellie’s Snackbar and Newstand in the state capital building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for 18 years.
She is preceded in death by her parents Fred and Treva, brothers Leonard Yost, Brad Yost, Ray Yost and William Yost, sisters Bobette Lobaugh and Ruth Anna Gilbert and spouses Kenneth Wood and Herbert Paules. She is survived by her son Hal Yost, his wife Alicia Yost and three grandchildren, Laila, Carter and Maryn Yost.
A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, November 30thfrom 5 to 7 p.m. in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland. A second service with interment will follow on December 9th at Ewing Brothers Funeral home in Carlisle, PA.
Donations can be made to Lion’s Club International or Leader Dogs for the Blind.
Dale Benoit Sr, 86, of Portland, CT, formerly of Northampton MA, passed away on Monday, November 6th, surrounded by his family. Dale was born March 3, 1937 to the late Leo and Jeanne Benoit. Dale served in the US Air Force and was stationed in Germany, before moving to Portland. His first marriage produced two sons, Dale Jr and David. Dale retired from the town of Portland, where he worked in the maintenance department. Dale was a Life Member of the Portland Volunteer Fire Department, where he proudly served 58 years, and rose to the rank of Fire Police Captain, and was also President of the Middlesex Fire Police Association. He considered his many friends in the department to be his second family.
Dale is survived by his third wife, Cynthia of Portland, and his children Dale Jr and his wife Terri, David, step-son Keith and his wife Seng, all of Portland, and step-daughter Kelly of Florida. Dale is also survived by his first wife and mother of his two sons, Mary Lou (Bagadinski) Pini, and his second wife Donna Nobile, both of Portland. Dale also leaves behind his grandchildren Kate and her husband Don of Glastonbury, and Nick, Kyle, Josh, and Shelby, all of Portland. Dale was predeceased by his brother Edward, and his sister Theresa.
Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, November 29thwith full military honors in the State Veteran’s Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland, on Monday, November 28th from 5 to 7 p.m.
James (Jim) D. Gustafson, a beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday, November 10th; he was 68. The youngest of the four children of the late Karl V. and Marie J. (Hammerseth) Gustafson, Jim was a life-long resident of Portland, a town he truly loved. A very outgoing Swede, Jim had the ability to make strong friends on the spot, and was well known throughout the community. He was a career U.S. Postal Service employee, having been employed there for many years. Jim was an avid sports fan, and had followed both the Red Sox and Celtics for his entire adult life. He recently discovered the term “Chowdahead” and was very excited to buy and distribute the apparel to other Chowdaheads. Golf was another of his favorite sports, both as a player and as a follower of professional golf. He played in many golf tournaments with his buddies from growing up. In his younger years, Jim played softball in the Middlesex County Men’s League, but he would tell you that some of his happiest sports memories were those of his years as a Little League coach for his son Evan’s teams leading them to undefeated seasons and multiple championships, where he lovingly earned the nickname “The Legend” by some of the players. He was also very proud of coaching Lindsey in CYO basketball and making it all the way to the New England Championship. As the parents of the players knew so well, Jim was a great coach, always putting his young players’ well-being first, teaching them the game, and coaching them to many wins. His coaching expertise was highly touted in a Middletown Press article entitled “Coach Gustafson.” In more recent years, without question, Jim’s greatest passion was spending time with his family, in particular his beloved grandchildren, Mason, Mia, and McKenna Downing, and Easton James Gustafson, all of Portland. Jim loved shooting hoops with his oldest grandchild, Mason, and attended Mason’s youth basketball games faithfully. He’d been looking forward to watching Mason play on a traveling team this season. He couldn’t say no to a bike ride with Mia- or to Mia at all for that matter. He melted with McKenna’s tight hugs and acted surprised every time she scared him when she came home from school. The smile on his face was amazing when Easton recently started yelling “Gus!” There’s no doubt that “Gus,” as the grandkids called Jim, will be watching the games from above and will have the best seat in the house! Jim’s two children, Lindsey Marie Gustafson Downing (Brian) and Evan James Gustafson (Amy), both of Portland, were the greatest joys of his life. He was so proud of them and made no bones about it! In addition to his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren, Jim is survived by his siblings and their spouses: Susan Gustafson Golet (Frank) of Rhode Island, Joan Gustafson Tester (Ted) of Portland, and Bruce Gustafson (Debbie) of Cromwell. The four “Gustafson kids,” as Jim and his siblings were often called, even into adulthood, will continue to be bound together by the love they had for one another, and by their many shared memories. Jim dearly loved his nieces, nephews, and cousins as well. His nephews in particular will never forget the many great conversations “talking sports” with Uncle Jim. Surviving him are his niece, Kaelene Gustafson of Middletown; his nephews, Rob Stone of MA, Jared Tester of Portland, and Christian Gustafson of PA; his great-nephew, Anthony Stone of MA; his cousins, Cynthia Bizon of FL, and Lois Vardaro of NY as well as the entire Foley clan. Jim also leaves many close and caring lifelong friends who will miss him greatly.
In honor of Jim’s love of sports, we encourage you to represent any of your favorite teams during his services with a shirt or hat. In lieu of flowers, we know Jim would be honored to have donations in his name made to Gianelli’s Early Learning Center in Middletown, CT to support a place he truly loved.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 21stat the Zion Lutheran Church, 183 William St., Portland at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Rock Landing Cemetery, Haddam Neck. Friends may call at the , Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland on Monday, November 20thfrom 5 to 7 p.m.