Obituary: Donald Michael “Bud “ Priest, 83, Veteran, Past President Orange BOE, Past Chair Police Commission

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Nov 152013

Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 12.45.36 AMDonald Michael “Bud “ Priest, 83, of Hamden, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty years, Ruth Priest; his loving children, Pamela P. Irving and husband Dr. Jack, of Hamden, Donald M. Priest, Jr., of Branford, and Amy E. Paier and husband Richard, of Orange; and his cherished grandchildren Brian Irving, Alison Irving Appleby and husband Michael, Griffin Paier, and Kelsey Paier. He is also survived by his brothers Richard and Edward Priest, both of Syracuse, NY, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Susan L. Priest, and his brother, John Priest.

Born Dec. 10, 1929 in Syracuse, NY, he was a son of the late John G. and Catherine Downes Priest. Bud graduated from Holy Rosary High School in Syracuse and St. Bonaventure University, class of 1951.

After serving with the U.S. Army, he had a distinguished career as a realtor as owner of First Woodbridge Realtors. He was a past president of the New Haven Board of Realtors, and was honored as the CT Realtor of the Year. He was a civic-minded person who was a past president of the Orange Board of Education and a past chairman of the Orange Police Commission.

Bud was also a charter member of the Woodbridge Rotary Club, serving as its first president, and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a communicant of St. Rita Church in Hamden. Bud was a selfless giver with an abundance of compassion and kindness. He committed himself to family, friends, and those in need. He brought joy to everyone he met. An eternal optimist, he took great pleasure in life and never turned down an invitation for fun.

Bud’s family deeply thanks all those who cared for Bud over the past six months, especially the staff at Whitney Center.

Friends may call on Fri. from 5-8 pm at Sisk Brothers Funeral Home, 3105 Whitney Ave., Hamden.


His life will be celebrated with a mass of Christian Burial at St. Rita Church, Hamden, on Sat. morning at 10:00. Entombment will follow in Mt. St. Peters Cemetery Mausoleum, Derby.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Woodbridge Rotary Club, P.O. Box 4096, Woodbridge, CT 06525, or to the Rocky Mountain MS Center, 8845 Wagner St., Westminster, CO 80031 (specify “For Research”). www.siskbrothers.com

Jun 172012

Joseph Cuzzocreo

Joseph Cuzzocreo, Sr., 83, beloved husband of Emma Clini Cuzzocreo of Orange passed away June 15 in the Hospital of St. Raphael.

Loving father of Toni Marie (Robert) Gelineau of Woodbridge, Roy (Stephanie) Cuzzocreo and Joseph Cuzzocreo, Jr. both of Orange and the late James L. Cuzzocreo. Cherished grandfather of Matthew, David, Daniel and Brian Cuzzocreo and Marciana Gelineau. Son of the late Anthony and Lucy DeAngelo Cuzzocreo. Brother of Ernest Cuzzocreo of Sonora, CA and the late Marguerite Viggiano and John Cuzzocreo. Nephew of Mary Cuzzocreo of Orange.

It is almost impossible to have lived in Orange and not know Joseph Cuzzocreo. At ease speaking to school children and Senators, Joe loved his family, his community and his town.

A rodeo rider in his youth, his involvement in community and civic affairs spanned the length of his life, from boy scouts as a youth, service in the United States Army as a young man, to being awarded the Town of Orange Living Treasure Award in 2012.

Born in Orange, Joe worked as a carpenter in town, building houses with his brother, John Cuzzocreo, until taking over the Orange Fence and Supply Company in 1958 from his father, Anthony, who started the company in 1930. Joe handed the reins of the company to his son, Roy, in 1990 and continued to work and serve the town and its people. Joe Cuzzocreo served his town in innumerable ways over the years.

An Orange Police Commissioner for 47 years, he served also as chairman of that Commission, and member of the building committee constructing the new police facility on Lambert Road.

Joe also volunteered to build the book shelving in the Public Library when it first opened in the Firelight Shopping Center.

Joe was also a member of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department and could be seen every year at the Orange Fireman’s Carnival. Joe volunteered with the Orange Memorial Day Parade Committee, the Orange Country Fair, the Orange Sesquicentennial Celebration and the Orange Playground Committee.

A past president of the Orange Rotary Club, Joe was presented by Rotary International with both the Paul Harris Fellowship Award and, in 2006, the “Service Above Self” award. Joe took particular pride in his work on the Rotary Scholarship committee.

Joseph Cuzzocreo accepting his 2012 Living Treasure Award.

He loved working with young people, and was for 55 years a bus driver for the Orange/Amity school system, sometimes carrying to school the children of students he had driven years before.

In 1982 Joe and his wife, Emma, established a non-profit organization for the a community living facility in the town for adults with developmental disabilities; this facility continues it’s work today.

Joe received the “Good Scouts Award” in 2011 from the Connecticut Yankee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, served as a board member for Easter Seals Goodwill Industries and past member of the Lions Club. His service to the Town of Orange included membership on the Orange Land Trust, the Orange Safety Committee, the Orange Economic and Development Committee.

In 2005 he was named the Democrat of the Year by the Orange Democrats, and in 2001 received the first ever Public Service Award from the Secretary of the State of Connecticut. He was a founding member of the group that became the Orange Chamber of Commerce, and received the Chambers Community Service Award in 2001, and a 50-year (retired) member of the American Legion.

Friends may call at the PORTO FUNERAL HOME, 830 Jones Hill Rd., West Haven MONDAY from 4:00-8:00 PM. and are asked to go directly to Holy Infant Church Tuesday morning at 11:00 for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment with military honors will follow in Orange Center Cemetery.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Rotary Club of Orange Foundation, P O Box 894, Orange, CT 06477.