EASTON, Conn. — Anthony J. "Tony" Colonnese, a three-time Easton first selectman, volunteer firefighter and founder of Sport Hill Service Station in Fairfield, died Thursday, March 2. He was 92.
Born in Fairfield, Colonnese was a son of Anthony B. and Anna Cocivi Colonnese. He grew up working his family's vegetable farm.
At the age of 21, he joined the U.S. Army and served two years, participating in the Army occupation of Germany from 1945 to 1946.
In 1948, Colonnese started the Sport Hill Service Station in Fairfield and grew it into a thriving gas and service station. In 1949, he married the love of his life, Daisy Hurter Colonnese.
He was very involved in his community, serving on several town committees and was first selectman of Easton for three terms. A Republican, Colonnese was instrumental in getting both the Easton Library and the Easton Community Center built and was active in the Republican Town Committee.
Colonnese was a lifetime member of the Easton Volunteer Fire Company. Up until just a couple of years ago, he was the one in the red shirt in the bingo tent at the Easton Fireman's Carnival.
He joined the EVFC in 1954 and was the fire commissioner for several years.
Colonnese loved to boat and camp at Candlewood Lake with family and friends. He was known to plow the neighborhood pond with his jeep for the kids to play hockey.
He coached all three of his boys on the Rams for the Easton Little League.
He was an avid skier and a Sterling Ski Club member for many years. Colonnese also loved to golf and was a member of Connecticut Golf Club.
Colonnese was a member of the Exchange Club of Easton and organized the annual golf outing to raise funds for battered women for many years.
In addition to his beloved wife of 68 years, Daisy, survivors include his four children, Michael Colonnese and wife Eileen, Robert Colonnese and wife Connie, Anthony Colonnese and wife Andrea and Betsy Manteiga and husband John; 11 grandchildren, Jennifer (Colonnese) Selinger and husband Jayme, Brian Colonnese and wife Maddie, Taryn Colonnese, Kane and Melia Colonnese, Aaron and Hannah Colonnese, Johnny, Matthew and Carrie Manteiga and Annaleis (Hogan) Soldau and husband Tom; and five great-grandchildren, Kristen, Allie, Katie, Charlie and William;
He is also survived by his brother-in-law, William J. Keck of California, three nieces, Carol Marashian, Sally Evans and Susan Truman as well as several other nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sisters, Caroline Palumbo and Natalie Keck.
Relatives and friends may greet the family on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull.
Funeral services will take place Tuesday, March 7, at 11 a.m. in the funeral home. Interment will follow in Union Cemetery, Easton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 200 Executive Blvd., Suite 4B, Southington, CT 06489 or at www.alzct.org .
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