Robert D. TonelliJuly 16, 2017
Robert Dante Tonelli, 88, a 58 year resident of West Springfield, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 16th, in Ayer, MA Robert was born, September 21st, 1928, in Westfield, MA to the late Virginia (Ginesi) and Giacomo Tonelli. Robert attended Westfield Trade High School and after graduation volunteered as an infantryman in WWII. In 1952, he was introduced to Ida Laurette Labbé of Sherbrooke, Québec, and they were married in Canada in 1953 and enjoyed 51 years together. They first settled in Westfield, MA and worked at Tonelli's Little River Inn, and then moved to West Springfield in 1958 where they were parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle for over 50 years. Robert became a West Springfield fire fighter in 1965, and retired after 20 years of service. His civic memberships included The Knights of Columbus, The Elks, and the American Legion. He had a passion for exercise and was a member of a local gym for over 25 years. After retirement, he enjoyed volunteering at Bay State Medical Center and the West Springfield Parish Cupboard. Robert is predeceased by his wife and his six siblings. He leaves his four children, Roberto and his wife Susan of Los Alamos, NM, Debra Tonelli of Hartford, ME, Daniel and his wife Dianne of Ayer, MA, and Santina Tonelli Watlington and her husband John, of Acton, MA. He also leaves six grandchildren, Vanessa and Jenna Tonelli, and her husband David Bork, of New Mexico, Mark and Michael Tonelli of Ayer, and Ian and Nathan Watlington of Acton, and numerous nieces and nephews. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held, Friday, 10:30AM at St. Thomas Church, 47 Pine Street, W. Spfld. with burial to follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Westfield. Toomey-O’Brien Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Robert’s name to The Parish Cupboard, 1023 Main Street, West Springfield, MA 01089 or The New England Center and Home for Veterans, 17 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108.