Daniel Christopher Bruno, loving father, grandfather and friend, passed away Thursday, February 13, 2020 at age 81, after a period of declining health. Dan was born on November 6, 1938 in Norwalk, CT to Dominic P. and Carmela (Bottone) Bruno.
After graduating from Norwalk High School in 1955, Dan proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1955-1959. He then worked at a variety of jobs prior to and while attending college, including driving a school bus, working in sales for Burndy Corp., and several years as personal driver for Bette Davis. Dan met Carolyn Cunningham in 1964 and they were married after a 6-month courtship in February, 1965. They raised two daughters, Carynne and Blair. Although they divorced after 23 years, they maintained a connection through their children and their granddaughter, Sophia. Dan was a wonderful father and an even better grandfather.
Dan graduated in 1969 from Southern CT State University with a bachelor’s degree in education. He went on to earn both a master’s degree in education and a sixth-year teaching degree from Fairfield University. An educator at heart, Dan spent his entire 30-year career as a physical education teacher, a vocation he loved and was clearly born for. Over the decades, he taught thousands of Fairfield students in several schools, including Grasmere and Oldfield Elementary Schools and more than 20 years at Fairfield Woods Junior High/Middle School. Although he was a physical education teacher (please do not call it “gym”), students often found to their dismay that he was also a firm believer in grammar, proper English, and writing skills. When he retired from teaching, his “retirement hobby” allowed him to pursue his other passion: driving. During that 10+ years, his drive-your-car service attracted a large and loyal following of clients who were more than happy to have him drive them in their luxury vehicles to and from airports, outings in NYC, and second homes all over the tri-state area. He loved driving and prided himself on his exhaustive knowledge of alternative routes and his ability to get anyone where they needed to be, on time.
Dan loved music, from his childhood playing the accordion in a big band on the radio, playing the flute and piccolo in the Fife and Drum Corp, to playing the piano at some really great parties and singing in the church choir as an elder at Calvin Church. He was a voracious reader, a lover of crossword puzzles (but only in pen, please), and a big fan of jigsaw puzzles. He loved his time with the Poets’ Society. He had some strong opinions. He loved his family. And when someone needed him, he showed up.
Dan was preceded in death by his father, Dominic, his mother, Carmela, and his older sister, Irene. He is survived by his daughters, Carynne (Bruno) Fillmore of Henniker, NH and Blair (Bruno) Turnbull of Stratford, CT, his daughter-in-law Karen O’Donnell, his much-beloved granddaughter Sophia Turnbull, and his many cousins, friends, and former students.
Calling hours will be held on Monday, February 17, 2020 from 4 – 7 p.m. at Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road in Fairfield. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Calvin United Church of Christ, 901 Kings Highway East in Fairfield. A private burial will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fairfield Police Athletic League, PO Box 423, Fairfield, CT 06824.
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Fairfield, CT 06824
Fairfield, CT 06825
Fairfield Police Athletic League
PO Box 423, Fairfield, CT 06824