James (“Jim”) Avitabile of Branford, CT passed away Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at Yale New Haven Hospital. He was the beloved husband of Barbara Migliore Avitabile, to whom he was married for 50 years this past July.
Jim was born May 21, 1942 in New Haven, CT, son of the late Matthew and Lillian Manzo Avitabile. Besides his adoring wife, he is survived by his devoted children, Daniel and Lauren Avitabile and Deborah and Christopher Graham, all of Darien, CT and his grandchildren, Kate, Charlie and Dillon Avitabile and Noelle and Layla Graham. He is also survived by his brother-in law Daniel Migliore and his wife Valerie of Las Vegas, NV, as well as many beloved cousins, nephews and nieces. Jim was predeceased by his brother and lifelong friend Alberico Avitabile and his wife Beverly of Orange, CT.
Jim was raised in West Haven, CT, graduating from West Haven High School in 1960. Following school, he proudly served in the U.S. Army Reserves. Jim and Barbara were married in 1968 and settled in Branford, CT with their family in 1979. That same year Jim followed his passion for cooking and opened the Country Deli, an Italian-style delicatessen and catering business, in Madison, CT, which he proudly owned for over 30 years until his retirement. Jim loved sharing his homemade family recipes, but he greatly cherished the relationships he built with his colleagues and customers, many of whom became his close friends.
Jim truly understood what was important in life - he treated everyone with kindness, added humor to every situation, had unwavering faith, and prioritized spending time with the ones he loved. Jim loved vacationing with his family in Cape Cod every summer, his weekly golf or card games with his closest friends and cheering on the Yankees and Giants with his family. Above all else, Jim lived for his five grandchildren, his “jewels” as he would refer to them. His ever-present smile could be seen in the bleachers of their sporting events, in the audiences of their recitals or simply sitting at the kitchen table as he colored with them.
Jim’s positive outlook on life will be missed, but certainly never forgotten.
His funeral will leave the W. S. Clancy Memorial Funeral Home, 244 North Main Street, Branford on Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM for a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Mary Church at 10:00 AM. Burial will follow at St. Agnes Cemetery in Branford. Visiting hours will be Monday from 4:00 - 7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Jim’s name to the Smilow Cancer Hospital, 20 York St., New Haven, CT 06510.
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