Charles Henry Joseph Calandriello, 87, of Milford passed away on Sunday, December 20, 2020 after a short illness. Charles was the husband of the late Joan Alice (née Cloughley) Calandriello, who passed away earlier in the year in July. The couple had been together for sixty years.
Charles, the son of the late Paul Calandriello and the late Anna (née Hogan) Calandriello was born on February 24, 1933 in “The Old Colony”, the traditionally Italian section of Jersey City, New Jersey where he grew up. Paul Calandriello, who was the owner of the Jersey City Cicottes baseball team, died when Charles was only four years old. Several years later, when his mother married Gennaro (Jim) Callandriello, Charles gained the man he referred to lovingly and admiringly as his second father. Tragically, Gennaro passed away when Charles was only a teenager.
Shortly after Gennaro’s death, Charles joined the United States Air Force in 1951 to serve his country, and acquire the skills needed to be able to support a family. Although he did not serve on the battlefield, Charles served as a member of a Reconnaissance Squadron during the Korean War developing tactical photographs. Charles’ keen sense of detail served him well as a photographer and photo finisher, something that he took great pride in.
Ultimately, his experience in the Air Force led Charles to work at Pathé Color of Bayonne, NJ, the American division of the world renowned French motion picture production company. It was there he met his future wife, Joan, whom he married in 1960. The couple moved to Stamford, CT, then two years later to Milford, where they raised their three children: James, Jane, and Jeanne. After his career at Pathé Color, Charles took a job with the United States Postal Service, where he served for many years until his retirement.
Charlie, as he preferred to be called, had a great love of model railroading as a lifelong hobby. He built beautiful and elaborate train table layouts. Charlie’s displays were more than toy trains going around a track - they were detailed and masterful works of art that depicted places near where he grew up and incorporated shops named after his loved ones. Nothing pleased PopPop more than playing with the trains with his grandchildren and his great-grandson. Additionally, for many years Charlie enjoyed going to Model Railroading shows in Connecticut with his buddies, John and Ed.
Charles was a long-time member of The Doughboy Historical Society. He was a collector of dimestore toy soldiers, which he painted and displayed in battlefront scenes. He once contributed an article to Toy Soldier Magazine, of which he was very proud. A self-taught expert on World War One and the history of Harry Truman, Charles read hundreds of books on these topics and demonstrated a remarkable level of scholarly knowledge to those who shared his interests. A lover of poetry, Charles, with his photographic mind, even recently would often recite poetry by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Walt Whitman, and John McCrae.
One could not enter Charles’ home without first reading the sign he kept posted on his door “Freedom isn’t free.” It was to remind us all to never forget the sacrifices of our veterans.
Charles was predeceased by his wife, Joan Alice Calandriello (née Cloughley). He is survived by his son James Calandriello and his wife Christine, his two daughters: Jane Calandriello and Jeanne Jalbert and her husband Kevin, eleven grandchildren: Charles “Chaz” Calandriello, Kevin Jalbert Junior, Jeannie Jalbert, Kurtis Jalbert and his wife Kristina, Kyle Jalbert, Keaton Jalbert, Kody Jalbert, Kasey Jalbert, Kory Jalbert, Kaden Jalbert, and Kolby Jalbert, great-grandson, Tiberius Jalbert, and a pet cat, Baby, who was adopted in 2020. Charles will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Charles was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Anna Calandriello (née Hogan) and Gennaro Callandriello, and his two brothers, James and Joseph.
A private family celebration of Charles’ life will take place at his home. Charles’ and Joan’s remains will be interred together in King’s Highway Cemetery in Milford. All services will be private at this time.
Charles, quietly, but regularly contributed to charities of his interest, and he was an animal lover, who enjoyed visits with his family’s pets. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to BridgeportRescueMission.org and Milford Animal Control, 664 East Broadway, Milford, CT 06460.
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