Bruno Battaglino Memorial Fund
Bruno Battaglino was everyone’s best friend. He was a warm, funny, and compassionate man, born in Derby and a lifelong Shelton resident. Bruno spent 10 years teaching in the CT Vocational Technical High School System, settling at Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury where he also served as culinary arts department head.
“Chef B.”, as he was fondly known to his students, was strict but cared deeply about them and their future. They in return, respected and adored him. In fact, the man whose motto was “Knowledge is Power,” was honored in 2000 as Teacher of the Year at Kaynor and later for the entire CT Technical High School system.
Upon Bruno’s untimely passing in 2004, his family received generous contributions in his memory from friends and loved ones. For the past several years, they have continued to hold many successful comedy night fundraisers and in 2012, created the Bruno E. Battaglino Memorial Fund at the Valley Community Foundation.
“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” said Bruno’s sister Jessica Brinsmade. “I know Dave Grant well, and know his family’s involvement with VCF. When the time came to determine where best the money should be housed, it was just logical for us to turn to VCF. Bruno was the type of guy who always found a silver lining in any situation. He really knew how to live each day to the fullest and in turn, he taught so many others how to enjoy the little things in life. Although Bruno was certainly taken from this world too soon, we know that he is smiling down on us and is proud of the work we are doing.”
Bruno’s love for the Valley and for his country was evident in everything he did. He cherished how closely knit the Valley community was and while he enjoyed traveling and had a true passion for life, Bruno remained extremely close to his family and always loved coming home to them.
“Bruno was an incredibly gifted teacher and touched the lives of countless students during his career,” said his sister Annette Lemma. “He was extremely witty and made learning fun – we’ve heard this from his former students time and time again. Whether breaking out in song or cracking his famous one-liners, Bruno is best remembered as a teacher who truly loved his job and who wanted more than anything for his students to succeed.”
The numerous entries by family, friends, and students in the online guest book established upon his passing speak volumes about the man Bruno Battaglino was. Each of the heartfelt words captures a personal glimpse into the life of one who impacted many others during his short time on earth. “Always laughing and smiling.” “You’ll never be forgotten.” “I love you and will treasure so many beautiful memories.”
Perhaps Bruno said it best himself when he wrote an essay as a young 7th grader, “"Maybe all will change in 2076, but there is one thing that I know won't change...the people. They will still cry when someone dies. They will still have problems and try to find ways to solve them. Maybe more intelligence will come from the brain, but love will still come from the heart, and that's the only thing that matters.” Even at so young an age, Bruno truly understood about the power of friends and family; of life and love.
Bruno’s family intends to use this Donor Advised Fund to issue scholarships in “Chef B.’s” name for students to further their education in the culinary arts field. But they are open to addressing other community causes as well. “We very much want to continue to give back as Bruno had done throughout his entire life,” said Annette. “For us it’s always been about carrying on the work he had been doing, so that long after we are all gone, Bruno’s legacy will live on.”
To make a tax-deductible contribution to this fund, please complete the secure, online credit card form below: