Obituary for Philip Rotondo
Philip Louis Rotondo died Saturday, June 10, 2017. Phil was born in Simsbury and lived in Simsbury and Avon for most of his life. He attended Avon Old Farms on a scholarship and started the baseball team there. After Avon Old Farms, he went on to study civil engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and eventually earned a Masters and PhD in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He spent two years in the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, and told a story about being on watch one night and nearly getting knocked overboard by a flying fish. Phil worked for nearly four decades at Combustion Engineering where he earned a reputation as the guy who could solve any problem. He also launched entrepreneurial ventures for which he earned several patents.
Long time Avon residents may remember the Rotondo Pizza House which Phil ran with his parents. He was in charge of making the pizzas and recently calculated that he had made over 250,000 pizzas in his lifetime. His love of cooking and pizza-making extended to later in his life when he became famous for the polenta and pizza parties he held at the home he designed and built himself, complete with a brick pizza oven in the central chimney. The one thing he ever allowed himself to boast about were his pizza making skills.
Phil played the piano beautifully, always trying to master Chopin, and enjoyed playing the accordion as well. He organized and performed in waterski shows and had a pilot's license he used to take family and friends on flights around New England. He made wine, cooked the traditional seven fish Christmas Eve dinner every year, and drove his excavator and bulldozer around his property moving rocks for drainage and structure reasons only he seemed to understand. He loved ice cream and sweets, his kids and grandkids, and had a fantastic witty sense of humor.
The classic Italian-American, he loved nothing more than hanging out with his cousins and friends, telling stories, making jokes, and solving important problems like how to marinate and grill enough chicken for a 200-person cook out, or how to design a drill press attachment for the quick grating of Parmesan cheese blocks.
Phil is survived by his son Andrew Rotondo (and wife Margaret) of Dover NH, daughter Amanda Rotondo (and husband Chris Hayes) of Reading MA; sister Dolores Wiener (and husband Kurt); and grandchildren Abigail and John Hayes.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, June 13th from 5:00 - 7:30pm at the Vincent Funeral Home, 120 Albany Turnpike in Canton. Services will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday June 14th at 12 noon, followed by internment at St. Ann's Cemetery in Avon. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Joy of Music. www.jomp.org. Please visit Phil’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online condolences.