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Bozzuto family matriarch dies

by Terry Sokol | March 10, 2010
Lillian Bozzuto, 95, of Middlebury, CT, and Fort Lauderdale, FL, died peacefully in her sleep March 3 in Florida. She was the widow of Adam J. Bozzuto, founder of the wholesale grocer Bozzuto's Inc. in Cheshire, CT.

"She was a caring person, a very wonderful person," Michael Bozzuto, chief executive officer of the wholesale grocery company, told The Produce News Tuesday evening, March 9, during the company's spring selling show at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods hotel in Mashantucket, CT. "She was the type of mother who supported my dad," and she was "a mother to many of my friends."

She was also "an avid fisherman," he added. "She did everything."

Greg Veneziano, vice president of perishables at Bozzuto's, said at the spring selling show that Ms. Bozzuto "supported her husband" in his business and in the many charities he championed. "She was very generous and was always helping people," he said. "And she was a real down-to-earth woman."

Ms. Bozzuto was born in Waterbury, CT, on Aug. 22, 1914. She was the daughter of the late Blasé and Sadie Brangel.

Ms. Bozzuto had an early career as a children's clothing buyer at Engleman's Department Store in Waterbury, CT. She devoted most of her life to her roles as a wife and mother.

She is survived by her daughter, Jayne Bozzuto, of Cheshire, CT, and her son, Michael Bozzuto, of Avon, CT. She is also survived by a sister, Rose Moran, of Dunwoody, GA, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by another sister, Rita Brangel.

According to family members, Ms. Bozzuto loved spending her summers in Cape Cod, MA. Her hobbies included cooking and deep-sea fishing, a sport she enjoyed well into her 90s. She was a communicant of St. John of the Cross Church in Middlebury.

A funeral mass took place at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury, CT, with burial following in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Watertown, CT. Memorial donations may be made to the Adam J. & Lillian Bozzuto Building Fund for Special Olympics, 2666 State St., Suite 1, Hamden, CT 06517, or to the Hometown Foundation Inc., 275 Schoolhouse Road, Cheshire, CT 06410.

(Gordon Hochberg contributed to this story.)