Armando Colucci, 90, of Dennis, Massachusetts slipped peacefully into the afterlife on September 28, 2018, surrounded by his family. Armando was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ida “Chic” (Staffiere), his brother Italo and sister-in-law Ida, and his sister Elena. He leaves his three children, Joya and her husband Bill Lord, Paul and his wife Lisa (Purrington), and David and his wife Lisa (Pelrine); grandchildren Stephen and his wife Kimberly, Andrew, Brian and his wife Alysha, Nicholas, Danielle, and Julia Colucci; great grandchildren Preston and Thomas Colucci; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Armando was born in Induno Olona, Italy on June 26, 1928, the son of a career military officer Luciano and Assunta (Cattari) Colucci. During World War II, he was a member of the legendary Brigata Passerini, an underground partisan brigade of young men and women who worked with the British allies to topple Mussolini's regime. He loved to share the stories of his adventures in the underground. If there was a story to tell, he told it. Contraband cigarettes, delivering TNT to the allies, sneaking from Italy to Switzerland and back again. He had the stories for sure, and he told them best when while traveling to the places where he grew up, pointing to alleys, buildings, lakes, mountains, and fields.
Armando immigrated to the US from Italy at age 25, washing ashore on the beaches of Cape Cod, where he met his beloved wife, Chic, in Dennis. They were married on New Year’s Day after a short courtship and were together for 57 years. Armando learned English, became a hairdresser, opened a beauty salon, and the happy couple raised their three children in Stoneham, Massachusetts, where they lived until they retired to Cape Cod. One of his proudest moments was becoming an American citizen in 1960, sworn in by then-Senator John F. Kennedy.
Armando returned to school in his 40s and became a vocational education teacher, opening the cosmetology department at Shawsheen Tech in Billerica. He finished a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, and earned a master’s degree in Vocational Counseling. His lifelong passion was soccer and he was a lifelong fan of Inter Milan. He played full-back with the Boston Italia League in the 1950s and 60s and remained involved with the Boston Metros and Tigers. He coached both soccer and tennis at the high school level, bringing his teams to several state championships. Coach Calooch, as he was known to his students and players, was awarded “Coach of the Year” by the Lowell Sun. In his retirement, Armando watched soccer like it was his full-time job. He could tell you all the teams, players, coaches, trades, scores, and games. He even learned how to use a tablet so that he could check scores of games that he couldn't watch on television.
The one thing Armando loved more than soccer was his family. He would do anything for his beautiful Chic and his children. In his old age and infirm health, he often apologized for being a burden. Actually, he said "pain in the ass". He was not one to mince words. He didn't want to be a pain in the ass, and he wasn’t. In fact, he was the favorite of the rehab staff at Pleasant Bay. The staff loved him! He called all the women "sweetheart" and all the men "buddy" – because even with his hearing aids in, he was deaf as a stump and he couldn't hear their names.
Armando was Papa to everyone who knew him. He was a fantastic cook. He couldn’t sing a note. His favorite movies were Mystic Pizza, Life is Beautiful, and Above and Beyond. He loved a Manhattan on the rocks (no cherry). He could grow anything. He loved Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. He was witty and sarcastic, a trait he passed on to his children. He joked about wanting a “closed basket” at his funeral. And when it was time to leave, he would always say, “aaaaaahhhhh well.”
A celebration of Armando’s life will be held from 2:00-4:30 PM on October 7, 2018 at the Lane Funeral Home, 760 Main St., Winchester, MA 01890 with a memorial service immediately following at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Pleasant Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 383 South Orleans Road, Brewster, MA 02631.