Obituary for Raymond J. Albini at Chase Parkway Memorial (2023)


Raymond J. Albini

Former President of Albini Funeral Home

Raymond John Albini, known by many as “RJ”, was greeted at the gates to heaven by his parents, siblings, and a countless array of friends who left before him on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in the comfort of his home in Waterbury where he lived the past fifty-eight years, with his beloved family by his side. He was the loving husband of Patricia “Patty” J. (Minicucci) Albini, with whom he just celebrated his 65th wedding anniversary with on the 27th of April.

Raymond was born in Waterbury to the late Pasquale and Maria Grazia (Pesce) Albini on the stormy night of November 10, 1932, in a five-room cold water flat on Division Street, the land that would later be used to erect St. Lucy’s Church. Even though he grew up during the great depression, Raymond enjoyed his childhood in the North End of Waterbury in a great neighborhood where countless friendships were formed.

First attending Slocum Grammar School in kindergarten, Raymond then graduated from Webster Grammar School, and Crosby High School, Class of 1950. Always wanting to become a dentist, RJ’s brother Mario recommended he become a funeral director, with the intent of one day opening their own funeral home where they could work side by side. Off to New York he went and in 1951, Raymond graduated from The McAllister School of Embalming, and afterwards served his apprenticeship at both Colasanto and Parson Funeral Homes in Waterbury. Then together with his brother Mario, they opened the Albini Funeral Home in 1952, with their brother Sal joining shortly afterwards. When Raymond received his embalmers license in 1953, at that time, he was one of the youngest embalmers in the entire State of Connecticut. In their wildest dreams, the three of them never imagined that the small business they opened on February 17, 1952, would evolve into what it is seventy years later.

He was so proud to see the next generation of the Albini family join the business, first with his nephew Peter and later by his son Raymond. After his brothers retired, RJ, Peter and Raymond worked side by side, to realize their vision of the next chapter for the business. In 1995, they proudly moved Albini Funeral Home to its present location, renaming the business to Chase Parkway Memorial where to this day, they continue to provide compassion to families of the Greater Waterbury area. In 2001, after nearly fifty years of service, RJ enjoyed a well-deserved retirement. During his career, both RJ and his son Raymond cherished all of the time they were able to spend with each other working as father and son. In 2016, it brought RJ great honor to see his grandson, Raymond C. Albini, join the family business, and being able to see him work side by side with his father, the same way the generation before him did. One of the most crucial reasons for the business’ success was because of something he told his grandson when he became a funeral director; “Always do your best and treat families with respect and dignity”.

Something he was exceptionally proud of, Raymond joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1952, and in 1960 was discharged as Corpsman First Class. After finishing Boot Camp in Bainbridge, Maryland, he worked at St. Albans Naval Hospital in NY, and served on the U.S.S. Proteus as a submarine tender. During the infamous Waterbury Flood of 55’, RJ along with his Nurse Commander & Chief Corpsman, inoculated over 3,000 men, women, and children for Typhoid, Tetanus, and Cowpox, as well as helping to recover the remains of victims of the flood with his brother Mario.

Being a devout Catholic, RJ was a longtime communicant of St. Lucy’s Church where he served as usher and commentator. He attended church faithfully each and every Sunday, always volunteering himself to his church. Along with his brothers, the Albini Family proudly erected the Statue of St. Lucy in the back courtyard of the church where it proudly stood for many years until the church’s closing. It brought RJ and his family great joy when the Archdiocese of Hartford graciously allowed them to give the statue of St. Lucy a new home at Chase Parkway Memorial, where she stands as a symbol of hope to all. Upon the closing of St. Lucy’s Church, RJ continued to faithfully attend church on Sundays at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Always being a “social butterfly”, it comes as no surprise that RJ was a member of various clubs and organizations throughout the greater Waterbury Area and donated much of his time to the community. Some of these clubs and organizations include The Moose Club, The Civitan Club, The Pontelandolfo Community Club, The Italian American Civic Club, The Lakewood Social Club, The Aviglianese Athletic Club, The Portuguese Sportsman Club, The Cercemaggiore Community Club, and was also the past President of The Albini Mixed Bowling League at Lakewood Lanes for many years until his abrupt retirement after throwing his bowling ball into the woods. RJ enjoyed volunteering at the Pontelandolfo Club during their annual feast making fried dough and running the numbers wheel with his brother Sal, as well as helping at the annual Cercemaggiore Feast. In 2014, he was the proud recipient of the Italian Heritage award from the Pontelandolfo Community Club. When his son Raymond was a young boy, RJ took great pride in being assistant commissioner of the Waterbury Midget Football League, and for many years was the announcer at games at Municipal Stadium. He was instrumental in arranging Las Vegas Nights to make money for the South End Bears Midget Football Team. He was proud to serve as chairman of the American Cancer Society for funeral directors, raising money from local fellow funeral directors to aid in the fight against cancer.

He was a longtime avid, New York Yankees fan, U.S. Navy Football enthusiast, and together with his wife Patty, loved watching the UConn Women’s Basketball. Being the number one fan to his two granddaughters, Ray and Patty faithfully attended every single volleyball game they played. His distinct voice could be heard by all, as he cheered, “Let’s Go Team!”.

Being known for his sparkling personality, RJ truly was “one-of-a-kind”, having left a lasting impression on anyone who knew him with his intoxicating smile and sense of humor. One of his greatest talents was his ability to tell a good joke. No matter how funny the joke may have been, it was always his delivery that made them so entertaining, always guaranteeing to get a laugh out of anyone. Those who experienced his comical nature are still laughing today. With this gift, RJ served as the “MC”, Master of Ceremony, for a countless number of stags and functions over the years in Waterbury which left a lifetime imprint on everyone who was in attendance.

Although RJ may have accomplished a lot throughout his life, the most important thing to him was family, bar none! His greatest achievement in life was being a father to his two children, whom he loved unconditionally, and being a grandfather to his three grandchildren who were truly the loves of his life and knew him affectionately as “Poppy”.

No one was ever able to escape RJ’s request of posing for a picture. Throughout the years, with his love for photography, RJ always had to have a top-of-the-line camera to take thousands of pictures of family and friends. His family is forever grateful for all the amazing memories that were captured by him and put in photo albums that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

RJ would not have been able to build this beautiful life of his without his beloved wife by his side. “Ray and Patty”, as they were known to everyone, were inseparable. During their sixty-five years of marriage, they did more than most people could do in two life-times. Together they loved traveling the world, enjoyed many years of their retirement in Florida, as well their trips to Las Vegas with their dearest friends. Being regulars at the casino, RJ would often say, even when I win, I lose, because “what’s mine is hers, and what hers is hers!”. No one had more fun than Ray and Patty. The two of them were blessed to have had so many amazing friends and made thousands of wonderful memories at the parties they hosted at their home in East Mountain, especially at the bar downstairs.

Growing up in a world without vast technology, RJ was a simple man and enjoyed life for what it was. He loved being outside, basking in the sun, and tending to his impressive garden. It brought him great joy to share the fruits of his labor, always giving friends and family his home-grown tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Being as he would say, “a wine connoisseur”, to RJ, no one’s wine could compare to the “homemade” he made with his good friends, and later passing on the tradition to his son and grandson. Being with family, and enjoying a “very succulent” meal, especially on Sundays with his family, smoking a cigarette, and of course, enjoying a nice cocktail was all RJ needed. He was so proud of his daughter Valerie’s culinary talents and loved dining at her former restaurant “Café Biaggio” with his family. It brought back memories of his childhood when Valerie would cook many meals, with recipes being inspired by those of his mother. Being the proud father that he was, RJ was never shy in telling people how amazing his daughter’s cooking was! His family is beyond grateful to have had 89 years of these wonderful memories with him.

Besides his beloved wife Patty, RJ leaves behind to carry on his legacy his two children, Valerie A. Albini of Waterbury, and Raymond A. Albini and his wife Penny, “his favorite daughter-in-law”, of Middlebury, and the three loves of his life, his grandchildren, Maria Elaina Costa and her husband Matthew of Middlebury, Raymond C. Albini of Middlebury and his significant other Marissa R. LaBelle of Milford, Julia A. Albini and her fiancé, Joseph A. D’Amelio of Middlebury, and his grand-dog Liberty Albini, known to him as “Libby” who enjoyed greeting him at the door, knowing he had a pocket full of treats for her. RJ also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a countless number of good friends. He was predeceased by his siblings, Mario Albini, Salvatore Albini, and Victoria Rinaldi.

Raymond’s family would like to sincerely thank all of the amazing individuals who gave him such outstanding care, and compassion, especially, Despina “Debbie”, Modesta “Moe”, Maria, and his most amazing caregiver Suzanne.

Arrangements: After 65 years of directing funerals, the funeral of Raymond J. Albini will be celebrated on Friday, May 6, 2022, 8:45 a.m. from Chase Parkway Memorial, the Albini Family Funeral Home, 430 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, to Our Lady of Lourdes Church for a Mass of Christian Burial, celebrated by Rev. Ronald Ferraro at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in the Albini Family plot, where he will be laid to rest with his family. Calling hours for RJ will be held on Thursday, from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. The Pontelandolfo Community Club will be conducting their service at 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home.

In respect for RJ’s love and compassion for animals, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in RJ’s memory to:

The Connecticut Humane Society

701 Russel Road

Newington, CT 06111

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