Antonio RinaldiJanuary 17, 1923 ~ December 16, 2018 (age 95)
Antonio Rinaldi, 95, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, December 16, 2018, in Durham, North Carolina.
Antonio was born on January 17, 1923, to Carmine and Filomena (Rinaldi) Rinaldi in Pontelandolfo, Italy. He was the middle child of three, the only son.
As a young man, he joined the Italian Army and was stationed in Rome, where he was a radio operator (Morse code). Upon Italy’s surrender in 1943, Antonio returned to his home town. In March of 1950, he met and married Sabina Corvi Gismondi, a widow from America. He emigrated to America, arriving in New York in September, 1950, and settled in Waterbury, Connecticut, with his new wife and her 7-year-old son Anthony. Speaking no English, he began work at the Uniroyal footwear factory in Naugatuck. His son, Mark was born in November, 1951.
Antonio quickly mastered English, and with less than a high school education, successfully completed a degree in cosmetology. He began part-time work at Jose’s House of Charm in Waterbury.
Antonio retired from Uniroyal in 1979. He continued to work part time in a family owned business, Modern Fashion, until he retired for good in 1987.
After the death of his wife Sabina in December 2000, he remained in Waterbury until November 2006, when he moved to Durham, North Carolina, to be near his son Mark and family. During his years in North Carolina, he cared for and grew to love several special cats that gave him much joy and companionship in his old age.
Those who knew Antonio best remember him as a kind and gentle soul who rarely, if ever, let slights or insults darken his unfailingly optimistic demeanor. His motto in life was, “always walk away from a fight, if you can”.
Antonio is survived by his son Mark and his wife Anne Kaluzsa Rinaldi; grandson Robert Rinaldi and his wife Amber Harmon Rinaldi; granddaughters Aimee Gismondi, Margery Rinaldi, and Jenna Rinaldi; great-grandchildren Connor Rinaldi and Garrett Rinaldi; and sister Giovannina Rinaldi Perugini.
Antonio was preceded in death by his parents; wife; sister Giocondina Rinaldi Perugini; and son Anthony Gismondi.
A gathering of family and friends will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, at Colasanto Funeral Home, 932 Bank St., Waterbury. Burial to follow in Lake Elise Cemetery, Middlebury, CT.
To leave online condolences, please visit us at www.colasantofh.com.
Animal Protection Society of Durham
2117 E. Club Blvd., Durham NC 27704
Independent Animal Rescue
PO Box 14232, Durham NC 27709-4232