Louis J. “Chi-Chi” Cirillo, 85, of High Street, Bristol, passed away at his home, with his loving family by his side, on Sunday, August 24, 2014, after a long battle with heart disease. Born on August 6, 1929 to Louis and Marguerite L. (Lemaire) Cirillo, he was a lifelong resident of Bristol. In 1950 he married Josephine M. Alfano, who passed away in 1981. In 1989 he married the former Dorothy A. (Keane) Simmons. Mr. and Mrs. Cirillo would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in November.
He graduated from Colt Memorial High School in 1947 and remained very close to his classmates, helping plan and organize all of his class reunions including one held this past July. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, aboard the destroyer USS Everett F. Larson (DD830), and attended many of the ship’s annual reunions.
Prior to his military service, he worked at the Collins and Aikman mill on Thames Street and upon his return to civilian life he, along with his first wife, her parents, and his brother-in-law, the late Louis P. Alfano Jr., owned and operated the former Alfano’s Super Market on Prospect Street. He later became the Maintenance Superintendent of the Rhode Island Veterans Home, retiring from that position in 1990.
He was most proud of his association with the Bristol Volunteer Fire Department, joining the Dreadnaught Company in 1955. He was a founding member of the Department’s Engine 4 in 1957, serving several terms as its Captain, and was a member of the Firemen’s Memorial and Welfare Committee, serving three terms as Chairman. He remained an active member of these fire companies for the rest of his life, and was well-regarded as a friend and mentor to many within the department. He was a recent recipient of the annual Victoria Van Voast Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dreadnaught Company.
His favorite holiday was Independence Day, and he and his family hosted a large Fourth of July gathering for family and friends at his parade route home for 51 years. Last year he served as Honorary Chief of Staff to the Chief Marshal.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Louis P. Cirillo (Susan) of Bristol, Paul A. Cirillo (Patricia) of Warren, and Norma C. Floyd (Ira) of DelRio, Texas; stepchildren Mark J. Simmons of Newport and Jo-Ann and Michael P. Simmons (Patricia) of Attleboro, Mass.; grandchildren William D., Paul A. Jr., and Bryan M. Cirillo, Sara M. Morrison, Meghan L. and Garett M. Simmons; and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Ralph E. Cirillo. He was the brother of the late Norma M. Cirillo, who died in infancy.
Funeral services will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 30 from the Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood St., Bristol, with a Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church, 330 Wood St. Burial with Military and Bristol Fire Department Honors will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visiting hours will be Friday, August 29 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Firemen’s Memorial and Welfare Committee, P. O. Box 775, Bristol, RI, 02809. Click here for direction information and on-line condolences and shared memories.