Leo Calcinari, 78, passed away peacefully on March 10, 2021 at Hartford Hospital after a short illness.
Born in New Britain, Leo was a lifelong resident. A valued 35-year employee of the New Britain Water Department, Leo was a proud, diligent, loyal, versatile, and dedicated worker, serving in many varied capacities involving the city’s water system infrastructure and reservoir grounds.
Leo found great satisfaction in maintaining the grasslands surrounding New Britain’s reservoirs. He mastered and loved to drive the agricultural tractor- mowers required for manicuring reservoir fields and hills so that they maintained their ecological purpose, security, and beauty. His ability to mow the dizzyingly steep banks that dammed the reservoir water required great skill, highly focused attention, and ability to defy gravity! He liked to pass on his knowledge and standards to new department employees. Although Leo retired from the Water Department in 2009, he enjoyed being recalled for summer work. His great pride in wearing his dark blue uniform persisted long after retirement along with continued renewals of his CDL license.
A man of deep loyalty and generosity, Leo would eagerly help family, friends, and colleagues in need of repairs to cars, trucks, and yard equipment. Leo’s keen ability to diagnose mechanical problems was exceptional. He could figure out how to fix anything ranging from vehicles to small household items. He was very generous with this talent. He was ever-ready with his chain saw, heavy-duty back-pack leaf-blower, weed whacker, and tool kit when help was needed by a friend or family member.
Leo’s pride and joy was his huge Ford F-350 diesel pick-up truck that could be heard coming from a quite a distance away! Leo was a life-long fan of auto racing. He attended the annual reunion of Plainville Stadium racers and loved reliving the excitement in stories of those bygone days.
One could always tell when Leo was nearby by the fragrant aroma of his pipe tobacco. His love of Italian food was widely known as was his great fondness for Polish kielbasa. Leo loved talking with friends who enjoyed his mischievous and humorous nature. Leo “held court” at his kitchen table, enjoying laughter, joking, teasing, reminiscing, opinions of current events, reading the New Britain Herald, and watching favorite TV shows. He also loved to sit on his front porch, greeting the neighbors, watching 4th of July fireworks, and keeping watch over the neighborhood. Leo was an ardent yard sale attendee, always able to find bargains on used tools. It was heartwarming to witness how loving, gentle, and tender this large, occasionally gruff, man was with animals, especially strays, most recently his beautiful black companion cat, Emma.
Leo was the beloved eldest son of the late Urbano and Mary (Battaglini) Calcinari. He is survived by his brother John Calcinari (wife Carol), and his sisters Marie Kobus, Claire Reed (husband Laurence), Patricia Calcinari (husband Thomas), and Annette Calcinari (husband Carl). Leo also leaves his nieces and nephews: Traci, Angela, David, Brian, Scott, and Laura.
Funeral services will be private. Donations in Leo’s memory may be made to Monsignor Bojnowski Manor (50 Pulaski Street, New Britain CT 06053) or to the Connecticut Humane Society (701 Russell Road, Newington CT 06111). May he rest in God’s peace.