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2007 Gold Medal Award Ceremony - May 21st !!!!! 


2007  Mr. Joseph Angelillo

Joseph Michael Angelillo

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Biography of Joseph Michael Angelillo

By Nancy A. Boccuzzio

The Southington Chapter of UNICO National is delighted to honor Joseph Michael Angelillo; this year’s recipient of the 63rd annual Gold Medal of Honor award.  Recognized for a commitment to community service that has spanned several decades, Joe joins a distinguished list of public servants that have received the celebrated award since UNICO’s inception here in 1944.   

Joe’s history of public service is extensive and runs the gamut from political and community volunteering to helping out individuals on a more personal level.  For Joe, the reward is not found so much in the acknowledgment of good deeds but rather, in the personal gratification one receives from believing that he or she is doing their part to make a positive difference.  “Do good and forget about it,” is the adage he lives by.

Joseph Michael Angelillo was born in the Plantsville section of Southington on May 7, 1923, the second child of the late Henry and Amelia (Panella) Angelillo.  His family includes a brother, Michael (Robert) Angelillo and his late sister, Amelia (Angelillo) Tyrrell.  He also has several nieces, nephews, and cousins as well as four special friends and their children who he affectionately refers to as his adopted family.

Joe attended local schools and graduated from Southington’s Lewis High School in 1941.  He enrolled in Roosevelt Aviation School in Long Island, New York before joining the U.S. Navy in 1943.  While in the Navy, Joe graduated from flight engineering school and served as a crew chief of a U.S. Naval Air Transport Squadron at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California; the navy’s gateway to the pacific during World War II.     He also served in the same capacity at Johnston Island and at Oakland’s Navy Air Station before his honorable discharge from the service in 1946. 

Joe, who considers himself a natural student, returned to Southington following his discharge and continued his formal education while climbing the ladder in his professional life.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State College in 1965 and his master’s degree in education from the same institution in 1968.  

During his career with the State of Connecticut, Joe served in many roles.  He was a teacher at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School, an assistant director of the Manpower Training Program and later as an education consultant.  Since retiring in 1988, Joe has filled the void by volunteering even more, putting the knowledge he has acquired through the years to good use benefiting the humanitarian causes that he is drawn to.   

Having worked along side others throughout the community for so long, Joe has seen many come and go during his long and illustrious tenure of public service.  He says that he is thankful to those who came before him and led by good example.  It is his hope that he too, is doing his part to pave the way for others to follow.  

While Joe credits his father with instilling in him a strong work ethic and a sense of duty to give back to the community, it was his mother’s good nature that he believes most influenced his actions early on.     His first stint in public service came when he was just eighteen years of age.  It was then that his father enlisted his participation as a scout master for the Sons of Italy Boy Scouts organization. 

Since 1950, Joe has been a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Veterans of Foreign Wars; the American Legion; the Improved Order of Red Men and the Knights of Columbus.  He is a past Exalted Ruler of the Elks and served as Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus.  Joe is also a member of the Vo-Ag Advisory Committee and the director of both the Reuben Thalberg Foundation and the Southington Historical Society. 

In addition, Joe is a past member of the Southington High School Building Committee and a past president of the local chapter of UNICO National.  He has served on the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Southington Board of Education and is a past Chairman of the Republican Town Committee. 

In 1904, the Angelillo family initiated the San Sisto Society; a benevolent organization that aided Italian immigrants who came to Southington from Alife, Italy.  It eventually merged with Madonna Della Nev to form a new association; one that Joe led from 1990 until its dissolution some years later.   

Joe is also an active volunteer for St. Thomas Church and has served as an usher for the past fifty years.  An avid supporter of the parish school, Joe was honored as the recipient of the school’s very first Father McVerry award in 2007. 

Through his continuous involvement with a multitude of charitable and government organizations, Joe truly personifies the UNICO motto of “service above self.”  In recognition of his remarkable contributions to the Southington community, we are pleased to honor Joseph Michael Angelillo; the recipient of the 63rd annual Gold Medal of Honor award.



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