Theodore “Ted” A. Catino, 90, of Broad Brook,CT, peacefully passed away with his family at his side on Saturday, May 18, 2019, after a brief illness. Ted was the beloved husband of Mary E. (Duffy) Catino for nearly sixty-four years and Ted was the most wonderful dad to daughter, Ann Marie, and son, Paul. Ted was born on Christmas Eve, 1928, in Stamford, CT, the only child of Angelina (Summa) Catino and Alexander Catino. At the age of 10, he found the clarinet and saxophone and traveled to NYC by himself, often leaving school early, for lessons. He played in nightclubs by the time he was 13, played in bands across the country, and even organized his own big band as a teenager. His talent brought him to UConn where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at the same time, the first student to do so. At UConn Department of Music, almost 70 years ago, he met Mary and together they collaborated as partners in music and life. Ted was Music Director for the East Windsor school system from 1955 when East Windsor High School first opened until his retirement thirty years later. He took the lead in establishing the North Central Connecticut Conference Musical Festival for high school students in the region. He produced musicals not only for the high school but also for the community with Mary and the Saint Catherine’s Players, with some highlights being Oklahoma and Annie Get Your Gun. Big band music was always his favorite, and he was truly a gifted arranger of jazz charts. He created the East Windsor High School Stage Band, providing many opportunities to play jazz concerts and dance jobs that remain cherished memories for hundreds of students. The Stage Band was invited to perform the inaugural season and every year thereafter at Hartford’s Constitution Plaza, the only small school to do so. Upon retirement, he owned King Cone Dairy Bar and Restaurant in East Windsor, while continuing to provide private lessons and perform with big bands in the area, the last one being Memories, based in Somers. Music theory and big band arrangements were of particular interest for him, and his keen ear and sense of timing was a true gift as was his willingness to lend a hand. While music was his talent, his passion was his family, of whom he was most proud. Full of joy, he embraced opportunities to be at home, garden, build a playhouse, create scavenger hunts, putter around the house, discuss history and politics, attend or watch Yankee or UConn games, or do nothing, as long as his family was with him. Ted carried himself with a conductor’s presence and was a caring and friendly gentleman to all. He is survived by his wife Mary, his daughter Ann Marie of Windsor, and his son Paul and his wife Isabelle of Greenwich. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 10:00 am at Saint Catherine of Siena Church, 6 Windsorville Road, Broad Brook. Calling hours will be Wednesday, May 22, from 5:00-7:00 at Bassinger & Dowd Funeral Home, 37 Gardner Street, East Windsor. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ted’s memory may be made to Saint Catherine’s Church. For online condolences please visit www.pietrasfuneralhome.com
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