June 15, 1933 – September 11, 2021
Dante Carrafa, Sr. of Southington, CT, passed away peacefully at UConn John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington, CT, on September 11, 2021, with his devoted family by his side. He was the beloved husband of Monica (Raudis) Carrafa and a much-loved son, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, cousin, and uncle in a close-knit Italian-American family. Never was there a man so interested — or interesting. Born in Waterbury, CT, on June 15, 1933, Dante approached life with gusto. He was the son of the late Michael and Rachel (Ciavarella) Carrafa, and was raised in Waterbury, along with his 11 siblings, in a house on Citizens Avenue, where large family get-togethers were an everyday occurrence and there was always room for one more at the table. He graduated from Mary Abbott Grammar School and Wilby High School, and attended the University of Connecticut. Over the course of his life, Dante was a successful businessman, entrepreneur, and public servant. As a young man, he was a photographer and sportswriter for the Naugatuck Daily News and the Waterbury Republican-American. He began his career in manufacturing as a tool designer and went on to start and manage successful companies that served the aerospace industry, including LCM Tool Company, National Tool Company, Cambridge Specialty Company, and Gemini Tool. He is a past president of the Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT, and owned and operated Dan’s Top Dog restaurant in Southington. Dante served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve for nearly 20 years, attaining the rank of captain. In Waterbury, the city he loved and served in many capacities for many years, he was Zoning Commissioner. He twice ran for State Senate. Dante was a people person who could talk to anyone. He loved making introductions and connecting people. He was known for his kindness, generosity, and sense of humor, as well as more than a few signature catchphrases, like “What luck!” He was a New York Yankees fan; lifelong member of the Waterbury Elks club; former member of Wethersfield Country Club and Indian Hill Country Club; lover of and participant in the arts and community theater, a passion he shared with and developed in his children; and benefactor of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, whose annual sports banquet he always looked forward to attending, and Sacred Heart High School, whose Carrafa-Tuttle scholarship fund was named in his honor. He was also a lifelong learner, who would discover something he wanted to do or know, attack it with passion, and master it in no time, adding pilot, wine connoisseur, golfer, military history buff, concert promoter, and more to his list of achievements. Besides his wife, Monica, Dante leaves his beloved children and their spouses: Cynthia and Anthony Petrello of Houston, TX; Dante, Jr. and Ann Marie Carrafa of New Hartford, CT; Valerie and Ben Barker of West Simsbury, CT; and Kimberly and Mike Russ of Kerrville, TX. He leaves 10 grandchildren: Carena; Dante III and his wife, Lisa; Derek and his fiancée, Kathryn; Devin; Leah and her fiancé, Rory; Alana; Evan; Peyton and his wife, Sarah; Isabelle; and Truly; as well as two great-grandchildren: Dante IV and Santino. He leaves his brother and sister-in-law Joseph and Wendy Carrafa; sisters Mary Imbimbo and Anita Disisto; sister-in-law Rosemarie Carrafa; and former wife, Charlotte Carrafa. He is also survived by several brothers-in-law, other sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, a large, loving extended family, and many dear lifelong friends who will miss trips to Saratoga, concerts in the park, happy hours on the deck, and other fun times with Dante. He was predeceased by his brothers Matthew, John, Michael, Eugene, Victor, and Alfred Carrafa, and his sisters Lucia and Elaine Carrafa. A Mass of Christian Burial for Dante will be held on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM at St. Dominic Church, 1050 Flanders Rd, Southington, CT 06489. The funeral will be live streamed. Please call funeral home for instructions. Everyone is asked to meet at church. Burial will be private. Calling hours for Dante will be held on Thursday, September 16, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St. Southington, CT 06489. Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, 405 Allen Avenue Meriden, CT 06451.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Mass of Christian Burial
Friday, September 17, 2021
September 19, 2021
Very sad to hear the passing of our cousin Dante.
I had the pleasure to meet Dante a few times when I visited USA and stayed with him and Monica in Connecticut. An absolutely great guy who had fantastic stories and always wanted to hear about what was happening with our family thousands of miles away.
Our hearts and condolences go out to Monica and the whole family.
Anthony & Emily Cursio and the Carrafa family in Australia.
September 17, 2021
Dear Cindy and all the Caraffa family,
I was saddened to read of the passing of Dan. Our families had a long connection going way back, and I always enjoyed talking with your dad when he came in to Somma Tool Co, just a few months ago actually - always pleasant. Your write up said it all. Our sincere condolences to the entire family. Gerard (Jerry) Somma
September 15, 2021
My first memory of Dan is when my father introduced him to me as one of the men he played cards with. Little did I know I would end up playing cards with Dan and the Card Club for over 40 years. Traveling with Kim as an infant in the Motor Home, Quando Quando with Cindy in Cape Cod, Singing the Eagles at Dan's, or Dave's. Too many memories to share here, but this photo is how I would like to remember him.
Sorry I could not be at the services due to an out of state commitment. I will truly miss seeing the family legacy that Dan has surrounding him.
Pat says he had the greatest jokes!
Our sincerest condolences to all.
Dave & Pat
September 14, 2021
Going to miss you. We lived so far apart but you were in my thoughts so often. My best recent memory is finding out we both watched the same crazy TV shows. Pawn Stars, Counting Cars,, American Pickers, to name a few. Love you,. Anita, your "Little" sister.
September 14, 2021
I send my sincere sympathy to Monica and family!
Dante was a great brother-in-law, he added so much to the conversation and you listened. We had many laughs!
He was our Best Man at our wedding!
Always had good things to say and just enjoyed life!
I will always keep you in my Heart along with all the wonderful memories.
Love, Ro Carrafa
September 14, 2021
Dante, I will never forget eating Nashville Hot Chicken with you when u and Joey snd wives came to town. Rest well.