Philip S. Vonella, 63, of Bristol, died on Monday (August 26, 2019) at Hartford Hospital. Phil was born on November 13, 1955 in Bristol and was a son of Josephine (Aletta) Vonella of Bristol and the late Salvatore Vonella. He was a lifelong Bristol resident and a graduate of Bristol Eastern High School. Phil’s life was marked by his work. This work included his entrepreneurial and civic endeavors. He was devoted to his family and loved deeply those he held closest. He enjoyed the fruits of his labor providing for his family and hosting holidays and gatherings for family and friends at his home. Phil’s career was marked by two pillars. For nearly thirty years he partnered with his father to grow Salvon Custom Tailor, the business his father founded in 1954. With his father, Phil expanded the business to offer men’s ready-to-wear clothing, formalwear and bridal attire (Brides by Kristi.) Together they invested in real estate. In these endeavors, Phil found his niche and pursued as a vocation, custom building and remodeling and property management. He established Vonella Realty and Vonella Builders. He did this work joyfully until shortly before being diagnosed with cancer on July 3. Phil cared deeply about the community. He served proudly as a police commissioner, City of Bristol building committee member and UNICO member. For several years, Salvon’s sponsored the Miss Bristol Pageant. Phil was proud to spearhead the Bristol Police Department K-9 Project Opioid, single-handedly raising funds to purchase the first K-9, Hunter, a German Shepard and train Hunter and his human officer partner Officer Mark McGrane. He was delighted to receive a visit from Hunter and Officer McGrane at Hartford Hospital on Sunday, the day before Phil died. Phil was a lifelong animal lover and dog owner having loved each pet devotedly. He leaves behind his two German Shepard’s Bruno and Rocco. Both mourned his absence in recent days. Phil’s heart was large. Like his father, his philanthropic deeds were typically done quietly and without fanfare. He was empathetic and sensitive to the challenges others faced. He leant a helping hand, offering support in various forms and being there always with compassion. In recent days the family has heard countless stories about Phil. Many commented that Phil was like a brother, a father or a mentor and further commenting that Phil changed their life for the better. Phil heard the stories while in his hospital bed. When he was told the family was proud of him, he shrugged his shoulders saying with this gesture, ”I did my best.” His family and friends will miss his presence, his sense of humor, his salty talk and his expressive face and gestures. He will he remembered as a devoted Beatles fan, knowing every song, backstory and lyric. Growing up he would blast the stereo and dance to the music. He enjoyed the same music at the hospital while wiggling his legs to the tunes. Phil worshiped God and said as he began the journey with cancer, that he would fight, however, if God wanted him, he accepted His wishes and trusted Him. Phil died peacefully on Monday. We know that as he walked through the narrow gate he was greeted warmly by God who certainly expressed “well done, my good servant.” We all now have an angel in Phil. In addition to his mother, Phil is survived by his loving daughters: Kristi Wright and husband, Andre, of Charlotte, NC, and Josephine Parent of Bristol, and their mother, Sharon Vonella; two sisters: Rose Mihaly and husband, Kevin of South Carolina, and Angela Vonella of Bristol; his beloved grandsons Jayden and Jackson Parent and their father, Jonathan Parent; nephews: Ryan and Sean Mihaly; longtime partner: Liza Johnson; and his beloved German Shepherds: Bruno and Rocco. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday (September 3, 2019) at 11:30 AM at St. Gregory Church, 235 Maltby St., Bristol. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol. Relatives and friends are invited to call at Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave, Bristol, on Tuesday morning between 8:30 and 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bristol Police Department K-9 Fund, c/o Operation Opioid, PO Box 113, Bristol, CT 06011-0113. Please visit Phil’s memorial web-site at www.FunkFuneralHome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Philip S. Vonella, please visit our floral store.