Perry J. Spinelli, 92 of Bristol CT loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother died peacefully surrounded by his family on February 8, 2021. Perry was born February 8, 1929 in New Britain, CT the son of the late Angelo and Rose (Bellini) Spinelli. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years Rose (Vedera) Spinelli.
Perry served in the United States Army from 1951-54. As a distinguished member of the 47th Infantry Division he achieved the rank of First Lieutenant upon graduating from Officer Candidate School. He was charged as a Communications Officer leading troops through many training operations including Operation Flashburn.
After graduating from Bristol High School, Perry joined the Bristol Press as an advertising writer. Returning to the Bristol Press from his military service, he began his career as an advertising salesman and built a successful advertising department during his years as Advertising Director. He was well known and loved by many Bristol small business owners. In addition to his role as advertising director, he served the newspaper industry as the President of the New England Newspaper and Advertising Executive Association for several years. He retired as the Executive Director of Advertising for the Meriden Record Journal.
A proud, lifelong resident of Bristol Connecticut, Perry devoted his time to serving his community. Throughout his tenure as Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, he was instrumental in the development of the ski hill at Page Park, various sports fields and the first fishing derby. To commemorate his 22 years as commissioner (1956-1978), the Bristol Parks and Recreation named the fishing derby in his honor. The Perry J. Spinelli 70th Annual Fishing Derby is scheduled this spring.
As the president of the Civitan Club, United Fund and Vice President of Bristol Senior Advocates, Perry advocated for the betterment of community services for the citizens of Bristol. Throughout his years of service, Perry was there to listen, share ideas and lead committees. A volunteer tour guide at the American Clock and Watch Museum, he guided tour groups and shared the history of Bristol with visitors. He was very proud to be a corporator of the Bristol Hospital and continued serving this organization during his retirement.
A founding member of Saint Gregory the Great Church, Perry was a member of the church council and the building committee. Serving as an usher for over 60 years, Perry built long-lasting relationships with the parishioners and clergy. He greeted every family with his warm smile and enjoyed the weekly conversations after Mass.
Perry loved gardening with his beloved wife Rose, watching a weather event from the comfort of his home, and spending time outside in his yard, filled his days with joy. He taught his children, grandchildren and great-children by living a life of purpose and putting family first.
In addition to his wife, Rose, Perry is survived by his three children Jonathan Spinelli (Ann Marie), Glen Spinelli (Kippy), Lori Spinelli-Samara (Mark), six grandchildren, Joseph Spinelli (Lauren), Katie Manning (Andrew), Jennifer Banks (Jason), Daniel Spinelli, Nicholas Samara, Emily Samara, two great-granddaughters, Ava and Emilia Banks, a sister, Rita Southey and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A visitation will take place in St. Gregory Church, 235 Maltby St, Bristol, CT this Friday February 12, from 10:30 – 11:30 AM. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 AM (Mask and social distancing are required). Interment will be private. Funk Funeral Home 35 Bellevue St., Bristol has the honor of serving the family. Donations in Perry Spinelli’s memory may be made to the Friends of Bristol Parks and Recreation Fund. https://www.mainstreetfoundation.org/friends-bristol-parks-and-recreation-fund Checks can also be mailed to Main Street Community Foundation P.O. Box 2702 Bristol, CT 06010.