Donald R. Cozzolino, 72, of Cheshire and Milford, beloved husband of Margaret (Black) Cozzolino, passed away suddenly on May 2, 2021. In addition to his loving wife, Don is survived by his children, Peter (Amanda) Cozzolino and Lauren (Ben) Davies; his grandchildren, Peter Grayson, Evan Robert and Andrew Benedict Davies, and Peter John, James Donald and Emma Margaret Cozzolino; his aunt, Beverly Swan and her family; his siblings-in-law, Katherine Black, Peter (Judy) Black, John (Jeannine) Black, and Kevin (Tasha) Black; many nieces and nephews; and many very close cousins, including Barbara (Lew) Rosenblum and Jean Campbell and their families.
Don was born on February 24, 1949 in New Haven, CT to the late Donald and Theresa (Valentino) Cozzolino. His father owned a trucking company, Runard’s Motor Express, and had a love for cars. Don and his father built a car together and his father taught him to drive at age 9. Don’s passion for cars continued throughout his life and he loved to collect and restore classic cars. He was also very close with his mother and her family and he especially loved to spend time with his cousins Jean and Barbara who were like sisters to him. He attended St. Rita’s School in Hamden, Connecticut and then went on to Fairfield Prep for high school.
Don and Margaret met in St. Louis, Missouri during Don’s sophomore year at St. Louis University. At the time, Don had a MG convertible car that caught Margaret’s attention. They were married in 1974 and had just celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary in April of 2021. Their love story was one for the ages and Margaret will treasure the memory of all their adventures and time together and with their family and many cherished friends.
In 1978, Don founded NAPA Parts Place Inc. in Cheshire, Connecticut. Under Don’s leadership with support from a great team of employees and loyal customers, Parts Place grew throughout New Haven County with locations in Naugatuck, Milford, Branford and Cheshire. In 2010, Don’s son Peter joined the business and they have worked side by side for the last decade. For Don it was never just about the parts or the repair side of the business. It was about relationships, one family business helping another and looking out for each other. Doing business with Don was always from the heart and it was about trust. Peter was named President in 2017 and will carry on his legacy and vision into the next generation.
Nothing was more important to Don than his family. He was so proud of his children and loved them unconditionally. He loved to spend time on the water at their beloved Milford cottage with Margaret, Lauren, Peter and their families all together. It wasn’t a Sunday without everybody together for a great Italian meal and all six grandchildren around him.
If you spent time with Don you know he loved talking to people. When you spoke with Don, he listened intently and asked tough questions. There was no problem he couldn’t solve and no topic where he held back his opinion. He was always the first person you called with a problem. Don’s big heart and larger than life personality will be cherished and greatly missed. Don’s legacy will live on through the tremendous impact he made on the people he loved.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Mary Church (Precious Blood Parish) 70 Gulf St., Milford, CT (MEET DIRECTLY AT CHURCH). Interment will follow at Saint Mary Cemetery, Buckingham Ave., Milford, CT. Friends and family may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 7, 2021 at the CODY-WHITE FUNERAL HOME, 107 BROAD ST., MILFORD, CT. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Martin de Porres Academy, 208 Columbus Ave., New Haven, CT 06519.