Guy G. Ortoleva, 100, of Milford died peacefully surrounded by family on February 12, 2021, after a long illness. Guy lived a full and active life, had a wonderful sense of humor, and will be missed by many.
Always a bit of a Renaissance man, Guy graduated from McLane Art Institute in New York City and went on to use his talents for both work and pleasure. His career spanned many years from designing radio cabinets to creative displays in retail.
As a longtime employee of Sears, he used his artistic design, carpentry, and electrical skills to build remarkable displays and in some years, elaborate Santa’s workshops. A do it yourselfer before it was fashionable, Guy could build anything from recovered parts and some innovation. His children and anyone who worked with him learned many tips and techniques to solve problems with style and polish.
In 2001 he was honored by Sears with a trip to Chicago to meet with top executives in appreciation for his 50 years of creative and loyal service.
An accomplished artist, especially of area landscapes, many of Guy’s watercolors were displayed at the Milford Public Library and can be found adorning the walls in the homes of each of his children. He had a diverse set of interests including photography, hypnotism, palm reading, and stilt walking. He enjoyed music and could play the piano by ear.
In his younger days, Guy was a daredevil pilot and enjoyed flying Piper Cub planes. He could often be seen performing his hair-raising stunts over the family-owned Elm Terrace grounds in West Haven when flying was less restrictive, and his independent nature could take flight. Although he set aside his painting and flying interests while raising his family, he was able to return to painting watercolors and even flying for a short time following his retirement.
Born August 8, 1920, the youngest child of Giovanni and Angelina Ortoleva, Guy grew up in the Wooster Square area of New Haven. He loved spending time chatting and playing cards with family and a few close friends. His family likes to think Guy passed on Friday morning to make it in time for the traditional Friday night pinochle game with his beloved predeceased siblings Jim, John, Ernie, Mary, and brother-in-law Vito.
Guy also was predeceased by his first wife, the late Helen Mooney.
He is survived by Barbara Lynch Ortoleva his devoted wife of over 64 years and his nine adoring children: Guy E. Ortoleva (Susan) of Hamden, Peter Ortoleva (Holly) of Orange, Daniel Ortoleva of Milford, Donna Burlison of Wallingford, Carol Cunningham (Edward) of Andover, Walter Ortoleva (Luba) of Milford, Thomas Ortoleva (Tracie) of Old Lyme, Barbara Petrillo (John) of West Haven, and Lori Ortoleva-Donnelly (Jim) of Wallingford. He also leaves behind 18 grandchildren and the list of great-grandchildren continues to grow.
The family would like to thank Tanya, Lawayna, and Debra of Marcel Home Care for their gentle care and devotion to Guy and his family and VNA Community Healthcare and Hospice for their guidance and support.
Family and friends may pay their respects on Saturday, February 20, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at St. Mary Church (Precious Blood Parish), 70 Gulf St., Milford, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 12:00 p.m.
Due to size gathering limitations, the church can accommodate up to 100 people at a time with masks and social distancing. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, 2911 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, CT 06518, or www.alz.org or a charity of your choosing. To leave online condolences, please visit our website at www.codywhitefuneralservice.com.