John Carmen LombardiJuly 14, 1938 ~ February 2, 2021 (age 82)
John Carmen Lombardi
A Great Town Plot Life
WATERBURY - John Carmen Lombardi, 82, of Waterbury and Old Saybrook returned to the arms of the love of his life, Rose on February 2, 2021. John was born on July 14, 1938 in Waterbury, the son of Mary (Massimo) Lombardi and John Lombardi. He leaves four devoted children, Mary-Ann Cyr and her husband Brian of Waterbury and their children Brittany and her fiancé Michael, Bradd and Brooke, Carla Guglielmo and her husband Gary of Middlebury and children Steven and his wife Allegra, Stefanie and William, Steven Lombardi and his wife Dawn of Simsbury and their children Samantha, Nicholas and Melanie, John Lombardi and his wife Rita of Waterbury and children Morgana and her husband James and K’Ehleyr, great-grandson Anderson (Fox) and great-granddaughter Severina. In addition to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, John leaves is brother Michael Lombardi and his wife Loretta of Waterbury. He leaves his niece, who he considered a third daughter, Lisa DiZinno and her husband Robert of Waterbury and their daughter Casey. He also leaves his nephew, who he considered and third son, Michael Lombardi and his wife Susan of Watertown and their children Michael and Angela. He was predeceased by his brother Joseph Lombardi and his wife Georgette.
John was a communicant of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, in fact, he was born the same year that the Town Plot church was dedicated. The life and times of both John and Our lady of Mount Carmel Church would be closely intertwined from that time forward. From his baptism, to his time as an alter server, to meeting his future wife, Rose Williams, to his wedding and the baptisms of his four children, John has been a constant and significant contributor to the Mount Carmel community.
Family, Church, Town Plot, Business – all would play pre-eminent roles in the life of John Lombardi as he built a truly great Town Plot life.
He attended and graduated from Duggan Elementary School. At the ripe old age of 11, he was entrusted to man the phones at the Mount Carmel rectory, while parish officials held planning meetings for the soon to be constructed Our Lady of Mount Carmel school. John’s four children and five of his grandchildren would attend that school.
While attending Duggan Elementary School, John started a paper route that covered a large portion of Town Plot. As a teenager, he delivered groceries with many of his cousins when they all worked at their grandfather’s grocery store - John Massimo & Son’s on Congress Avenue. It was through this simple paper route and all those groceries making their ways to the tables of residents all over Town Plot, that he would start to meet people and form life-long relationships.
Because just having a paper route and delivering groceries and being a student were not enough, he also participated in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel CYO and at 16 also began serving as a lector at mass. He remained a lector for more than 60 years. Later on he added choir member and Eucharistic Minister to his Mount Carmel credentials.
John attended Sacred Heart High School and distinguished himself there by, among other things, graduating with the highest grade point average in Math for all four years.
John and his future wife, Rose, first met when they were 7 years old, as teenagers in the Mount Carmel CYO they started dating. They probably did not know it at the time but those dates would lead to a nearly 50-year marriage, four children, two homes, two businesses, eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren….so far!
After graduating from Sacred Heart High School, John attended UCONN at Storrs, Connecticut (at the time, tuition, room and board totaled a steep $1,000.00). While at UCONN, John was elected the youngest ever Chairman of the Dormitory Council – the first of many councils he would preside over in his life. After just a year at UCONN, John had to leave when his father became ill. He came back to Waterbury and between 1958 and 1968, helped his parents, started a business, married, had four children including a set of twins, bought one house in Town Plot where his in-laws lived and built another in Town Plot for his now large family. John never lived so far away from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church that he could not hear the church bells on Sunday.
While raising four children and running his business, John somehow found time to be President of the Home School Association at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. He was also the youngest person at the time, ever to be elected Chairman of the Parish Council and served for decades.
Just to round things out, at this time, John was involved in Town Plot politics as a member of the Republican Town Committee. He was asked to run for Board of Alderman but declined…probably too busy. He and his brothers Michael Lombardi and Joseph Lombardi, who were also Town Plot business owners, were very active in fund raising activities throughout Town Plot when Holy Cross High School was being founded and built. John’s four children and five of his grandchildren would attend that school.
As time went on, John’s business grew. At its peak, his business, Automated Retail Systems, served the state from 4 locations including one in Town Plot. Automated Retail Systems was instrumental in transforming the retail industry from bulky mechanical machines to fast, integrated electronic equipment. As part of this transformation, John headed back to school and earned a degree in electronics from Waterbury State Technical College.
In addition to Automated Retail Systems, in partnership with his brothers Michael and Joseph, John owned a True Value Hardware store on Congress Avenue for several years. The brothers have done so many things together over the years and have always supported one another in all their endeavors, setting a great example for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
After being a successful entrepreneur for most of his life, John sold both the hardware store and Automated Retail Systems and retired at 55-years old…for four months! Never one to sit still, John embarked on a new career. He became a motivational mentor at The Hartford Insurance Company. After doing that for several years he retired for real but following in the footsteps of his mother, Mary, he became a volunteer at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church and school. He ran the weekly bingo and during his four year run there raised over $500,000 for Our Lady of Mount Carmel School.
A few years ago John received the St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation by the Archdiocese of Hartford. He has also been recognized by Our Lady of Mount Carmel School for his many hours of volunteer work.
John and Rose raised four children all of whom stayed close to their parents. All their children are married with families of their own. Following the example of their parents all are ambitious and accomplished. All four children hold graduate degrees from prestigious schools – Yale, Fordham, Purdue, University of Connecticut.
For the past several years the entire family has spent the summers together – kids, parents, cousins, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren at the family’s summer home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The house is full of so many incredible memories, stories and fun – family puzzles, floating on tubes in the Sound, summer parties. John and Rose had 12 glorious summers in Old Saybrook surrounded by their grandchildren.
This has been a great Town Plot life. After John’s wife Rose passed away, the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, School and the Town Plot community have been nothing short of wonderful. John always had a really funny story for his friends at Mike & Ike’s and Monteiro’s. He and his wife maintained a very precious life-long friendship with Sister Patricia Jamele. Proof of the character of the community and of John Lombardi.
All Services are private, and at the convenience of the family. All arrangements have been entrusted to Colasanto Funeral Home, 932 Bank St., Waterbury. To leave online condolences, please visit us at www.colasantofh.com.
A memorial service for John will be held later this year.