Obituaries » Francesco Ragonese

Francesco Ragonese

January 2, 1923 - November 17, 2019

Burial Date November 21, 2019

Obituary Viewed 1922 times

Francesco Ragonese, 96, passed away peacefully Sunday, Nov. 17, surrounded by his loving family. He was predeceased by his wife Giuseppina Ragonese (Nigrelli). Francesco was born in Tusa, Sicily Jan. 2, 1923, to Vincenzo and Elisabetta Nigrelli.

He served in the Italian Army in World War II, was held prisoner of war for two years in Austria and then escaped to Switzerland and returned back to Sicily after the war had ended.

He married his love and life partner, Giuseppina Nigrelli Oct. 20, 1956. Francesco is the youngest and last surviving of 10 siblings. He was a tailor by trade beginning back when he was a young man in Tusa. His life was his family and worked as a master tailor and instructor in his hometown of Tusa but decided to make a major move in 1962 to the United States in the hope of making a better life for he and his family. He worked at Tarny’s in New London for many years and then went on to work with his wife at Benoit’s Men’s Shop. Many would say his appearance reflected his profession as a tailor and was well respected by his peers. He was a devote Catholic and a communicant of St. Joseph’s Church as well as a member of the church choir for over 20 years alongside his wife.

Francesco enjoyed being around his friends whenever he was able. He was a member of the Sons of Italy, Friends of New London Library and the Dante Alighieri Club. He enjoyed gardening and took great pride in the appearance of his yard. Francesco enjoyed reading and especially treasured his Tuesday afternoon coffee group each week.

Francesco leaves behind a son Vincent Ragonese of Branford, his wife Karen and children, Melissa Milano (Peter), Matthew and Vincent; a daughter Tina Reutenauer, her husband Paul and children, Paul and Kevin all from East Lyme; two nieces, Sandra Speziali and Betty Shea both of Waterford; plus many more extended family members in Sicily.

His family would like to thank the entire staff on the cardiac floor at L+M Hospital in New London for their wonderful care, kindness and concern during his stay with them.

His family will receive relatives and friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, at the Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home, 84 Montauk Ave., New London. The funeral will assemble at 9 a.m. Thursday, and proceed to a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Church, 149 Montauk Avenue, New London. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Jefferson Ave., New London.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude PL, Memphis TN 38105-9959.


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