Michael Timura

Published on Monday, 11 March 2019 20:28


Michael Timura, 94, of Farmington and Old Lyme, Conn., and Vero Beach, Fla., passed away Sunday night March 3, 2019.  He was born in Portage, Penn., on November 2, 1924, to the late Michael, Sr. and Elizabeth Timura. His parents moved to New Britain, Conn., during his senior year in high school. After graduation he served honorably in the Army Air Corp as a bombardier on a 301 Fighter Wing B-24 Liberator during World War II.  His last tour was on Okinawa in 1946. He was a very proud and dedicated veteran participating in many activities.  Mike is a life member of the VFW–Post 10361. Also, to honor his older brother, John, who was killed-in-action at Anzio, Italy in 1944, Mike participated in the creation and construction of the Iwo Jima Memorial Monument and Park in Newington/New Britain, and at the beginning of the walkway, stands a granite monument bearing John’s name.

In 1946, he met his future wife, Florence Sutula, who was working at the old Guida’s Dairy and Ice Cream Bar on Farmington Avenue in New Britain. It was his love of hot fudge sundaes and the attraction to the beautiful woman making and serving them to him that he asked her out and courted her for two years. They were married on May 29, 1948, and had a very wonderful, fulfilling and rewarding life together with family and friends for 66 years, until unfortunately, Florence passed away on Aug. 31, 2014. The family especially has enjoyed the times at the year-round home that Mike built in 1952 at White Sand Beach in Old Lyme. In their later years, Mike took Florence to Vero Beach, Fla., so she could escape the harsh cold New England winters.  They raised four sons, Wayne (Jacqueline); Gary (Linda) and Brian, MD and Michael III, Ph.D. predeceased in April 2014. He also leaves five grandchildren and six great grandchildren, including 4-month old, Caden, who will carry on the Timura family name. 

In 1952, Frank Downes’s father convinced Mike to work for his son, Frank. He started as a field supervisor and engineer for the Frank E. Downes Construction Company in New Britain. Mike embraced and relished the construction industry, enjoying a long and storied career.  From his first assignment on the Skinner Chuck Precision (later Honeywell Corporation) project, to the Angelo & Joy Tomasso Critical Care Tower at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, as well as many other school, office buildings, parking garages and commercial construction projects throughout the Greater Hartford area, he always put his special, personal touch on each job, while stressing his signature theme of safety and teamwork. Throughout his career Mike has focused his attention on helping contractors gain recognition and respect as a group, and he was a constant believer in trying to build and promote a better workplace. His mantra was firm, but fair. In 2003, Mike retired as Chairman of the Downes organization.

Mike served on many associations and organizations through his many volunteer leadership posts and accomplishments, both at the state and national level. He continued his efforts throughout his career to strengthen the identity of his profession. He served as a Co-Chairman for both the Connecticut Union Bricklayers and the Carpenters Pension and Health Trust Funds for many years. Also, he always had a keen interest in attracting young people to the industry. In the late 1970s, he started and developed the Carpenters Union Apprenticeship Training Program.  For 35 years, Mike gave an annual monetary award in his name to the year’s most outstanding graduating apprentice in becoming a carpenter journeyman.

Mike’s achievements and awards have been truly impressive. In 1985, he was elected as president of the Connecticut Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of American (AGC/CT). As president, he sought to be the “eyes and ears” of the industry and was subsequently elected as a Director of National AGC in Washington, D.C. Mike was particularly interested in safety and health on a national level, eventually becoming the National AGC’s Safety and Health Chairman.  One of his foremost accomplishments for National AGC was creating and developing a video series on safety and health, which were distributed nationally. Mike also has been featured in many publications, and his motto, “Think Safety First,” caught on across the United States. In 1992, he was named the National AGC’s Chairman of the Year for an unprecedented second time for leading its Safety and Health Committee. 

He also served on many union Labor Relations and Negotiating Committees; on the National AGC’s Collective Bargaining Board and on the AGC’s Basic Trades and Hazardous Waste Committees. He was on the Collective Management Union Bargaining Committee for the Northeast Region. He was a National Lifetime Member of the AGC of America Board of Directors; was past President of National AGC Consulting Constructors Council; the past President of the Connecticut Chapter of AGC and was member of the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers. In 2005, Mike received the Lifetime Achievement Award, plus the John B. Farnham Excellence in the Industry Award in 2012 from AGC/CT. In addition, the AGC/CT awards an annual scholarship in Mike’s name to a student pursuing a college degree in the construction field.  In 2011, he received the inaugural Hands Across Generations Award from the Boys & Girls Club of New Britain.

Additionally, Mike did not neglect his community or civic responsibilities. He constantly volunteered his time, effort and energy towards a variety of good causes. He was a Director of the New Britain Boys & Girls Club for 45 years, and served as a former Director of the New Britain YMCA for many years and is a Trustee Emeritus at the New Britain Museum of American Art. He was also a founding member of the past Farmington Savings and Loan Association bank, as well as the past First City Bank in New Britain. 

He was very generous to his family and philanthropic to many organizations, especially to the New Britain Boys & Girls Club and the Hospital for Special Care (HSC). Mike is the largest single donor to HSC, and with those funds, he established a total of eight student scholarships, consisting of a medical school, nursing, physical therapy and certified nursing assistant scholarships in memory of Florence, along with four separate student nursing scholarships in memory of his Gold Star mother; his late brother John; his late father-in-law and for his deceased son Michael. All scholarships are administered and awarded annually by HSC.

Mike was a stalwart man. He was certainly detailed-oriented, making sure all the i’s were dotted and all the t’s were crossed. Mike had the innate ability to rattle off numbers mathematically calculating them in his head. He had an incredible memory and would come out with a humorous saying or song to make one laugh. He definitely had expertise in many areas. His huge presence, wisdom and advice will truly be missed. We will keep the flag flying forever in his honor and memory. 

The family expresses their utmost thanks and appreciation to the staff at the Reservoir Rehab facility in West Hartford for their excellent and untiring care that they provided to Mike on his several lengthy stays, especially the last one, which he spent eight months there until the time of his passing. 

There will be no calling hours. His final resting place will be in Portage, Penn. Tax-exempt donations in Mike’s memory may be made to the Boys & Girls Club of New Britain, Inc., 150 Washington St., New Britain, CT  06051. The Ahern Funeral Home in Unionville is handling the arrangements, along with the Serenko-Claar Funeral Home in Portage, Penn. For online condolences or to share a memory, please visit www.ahernfuneralhome.com .

Posted in New Britain Herald, on Monday, 11 March 2019 20:28. Updated: Monday, 11 March 2019 20:30.