Kenneth Christie Tolides, 86, of Collinsville, passed away peacefully at UConn John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington on July 14, 2021. Kenny was born to the late Christie and Rita (Contos) Tolides on February 15, 1935, in Hartford, graduating from Canton High School in 1953. After an enlistment where he proudly served in the US Marines, Kenny graduated from Boston University with a degree in engineering. He enjoyed a successful career as an aeronautical and aerospace engineer working for many companies including McDonnell Douglas, Aerojet, Hamilton Standard, and Combustion Engineering. His work brought him to reside in Sacramento and Pasadena, California and Boulder, Colorado. While at Aerojet, Ken worked on the Apollo space project, helping Apollo 11 transport the first astronauts to the moon’s surface and safely back home, as well as taking part in the space shuttle program missions. He moved back to Collinsville to be with family in 1975 and accepted a position with Combustion Engineering in Windsor until his retirement in 1995. Kenny will be remembered for his sharp mind, kind heart, warm spirit, and his wonderfully dry sense of humor.
He is survived by two nephews, Michael and Christie Armaos, and a niece, Cathy Morin, and several grand nieces and nephews. Besides his parents Kenny was predeceased by a sister Marion Armaos and many beloved relatives of the Contos family including his uncles Engello, Thomas, Harry, and John. He was also predeceased by his long-time close friend Vinny Spescia. The family would like to thank the wonderful comforting care Kenny received from the staff at UConn Hospital and many thanks to his dear friends Donna Spescia and Vinny’s son Michael Spescia who helped and cared for him over the years.
Visiting hours will be at the Vincent Funeral Home, 120 Albany Turnpike in Canton on Monday, July 19 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, July 20 at 11 am at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 31 Brightwood Rd. in Bristol. Interment will follow in Southwest Cemetery in Collinsville. Please visit Kenny’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.