Plainville family votes 'armillary' sphere of earth in memory of daughter

Published on Saturday, 12 August 2017 21:29


PLAINVILLE - The family of Mary Rose Faith DiMinno, a former student at Linden Street School who died in 2013 at the age of 8, will unveil an armillary sphere they donated to the town in her memory Aug. 20.

The unveiling of the sphere will be held at 1 p.m. on the corner of East Maple and Linden Street.

The device is a model of the Earth formed from metal rings and hoops that represent the equator, the Tropics, the polar ring, the horizon, the meridian and more. It was created by English artist David Harber, whose works can be seen throughout the world including at Sacred Heart University and the airport at Shanghai.

The sphere is made of chrome-colored marine-grade stainless steel and its base comes from granite that was once part of an old railroad.

The armillary sphere also features personal engravings, such as Mary Rose Faith’s birthday of Nov. 23, 2004. The device is calibrated so that between 11 a.m. and noon that day each year, a shadow will pass over her birthday.

“When Mary passed away she was a student at Linden Street School,” said Sheila DiMinno, Mary Rose Faith’s mother. “When they tore down the old Linden Street School we decided that we wanted to put something on the grounds in memory of her. She loved her teachers there. It was a happy place for her - everyone who worked with her was wonderful and amazing and embraced Mary. She had truly standout teachers.”

Sheila DiMinno thanked paraprofessional Lisa Santiago; special education teacher Charissa Zbikowski; Mary Rose Faith’s first-grade teacher, Norma Olsen Bartley; and her second-grade teacher, Melissa Dodenhoff in particular.

“Mary was a spunky, fun-loving kid who loved to laugh and play,” said Kevin DiMinno, Mary Rose Faith’s father. “Even though she was a special education child she got into the hearts of everyone. Plainville was the perfect place for her. Her neighborhood was wonderful and whenever she had to go to the hospital people would always come by and ask if they could watch our other kids.

“The ambulance drivers and police all knew who she was. When she died from a complication in the hospital there were probably a thousand people who came to her wake. We decided that we wanted to do something to remember her.”

Kevin DiMinno said a committee was formed in 2015. The sphere was ordered last November and was shipped over in May of this year. The armillary sphere has since been installed by Kevin and Sheila DiMinno and awaits unveiling.

“I hope this will be something that can be used as a learning tool for everyone, including other visiting schools,” said Kevin DiMinno.

Mary Rose Faith DiMinno is survived by her father and mother and her two sisters, Grace Diminno, 15, and Annie DiMinno, 7.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, New Britain, Plainville on Saturday, 12 August 2017 21:29. Updated: Saturday, 12 August 2017 21:31.