On June 29th, 2019, John Joseph Mustone, beloved husband, father, mentor, and friend, passed away at the age of 92. On July 7, 2019, Amelia Poppey Mustone, loving wife and mother, role model, devoted friend, and public servant died at the age of 90.
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John’s life was the embodiment of the American dream. One of twelve children, he was born in Boston, MA on October 11, 1926 to Saverio and Mary (Capozzi) Mustone. After high school, he began a career in the lighting industry, where his remarkable ability to engage with customers and manufacturers alike drove his success.
Amelia was born on July 16, 1928 in Salem, MA to Alberta and Udo Poppey. Her early years were happy and focused on her friends, faith, and family. As a child of the Depression, she attributed her personal and academic success to the efforts of her two sisters, who doted on their youngest sibling while her parents worked.
In 1950, John and Amelia married and began building a life together that included the births of seven children in nine years. Eventually settling in Meriden in 1960, they were blessed to have many dear friends, including those from their early years in Massachusetts as well as those they cultivated in Connecticut. John’s charm and affable personality provided a counterpoint to Amelia’s caring and serious nature. Together however, laughter provided them with moments to cherish and in their later years, an unencumbered comfort. Their annual pig roast was a hallmark event at the home on Lambert Avenue that was truly the homestead which anchored so many memories. Their loyalty and devotion to each other and their family was unwavering. They were role models to those who knew them, showing all of us the true meaning of integrity, resilience, determination, and family loyalty. They will be greatly missed.
John first went to work for Smithcraft Lighting, where he rose to become the company’s representative in Connecticut. In time, he founded the John Mustone Company, representing many of the industry’s most prominent manufacturers until his retirement in 1989. Three of his children followed him into the industry, and until his death, John remained a senior consultant to the Reflex Lighting Group, his son Paul’s company.
A self-made man, John had an unquenchable thirst for learning, which he pursued on a global basis. He traveled across South America on a merchant ship, vigorously researched his Italian roots, and indulged his passion for literature by studying the works of Joyce and Keats at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. His love of reading a novel or work of non-fiction is a gift he passed on to all of us.
John was always a dedicated (and fiercely competitive) golfer, a charter member of the Farms County Club where he hosted an annual golf outing for friends and business associates. On any given weekend, he could be found locked into a televised tournament, providing detailed commentary on the successes and failures of many players on the tour. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1967, he added thoroughbred racing to his sporting interests, quickly developing close friendships with numerous trainers who introduced him to life on the backstretch. John passed his love of horseracing to his children and grandchildren, ensuring their knowledge of handicapping, tip sheets and the like. Yearly visits to Saratoga in August, Belmont Park and more built shared memories of not just his love of horses but the beauty of these iconic venues. A lifelong Red Sox fan, he was often disappointed at the annual plunge they took in August, until 2004 when the curse was finally broken at Fenway.
Amelia would always say her happiest days were raising her children. She had the reputation as a supreme bread maker, always making three loaves and gifting two loaves to families in the neighborhood, just as they were removed from the oven. A loving mother, she enforced a strict set of rules for her children while passing along to them her abiding love of animals, her passionate belief in education, and her strong work ethic. She postponed her own ambitions while she assisted in launching the John Mustone Company, working on the "inside," answering calls and keeping the books. With a large family to raise, she and John relied on each other to pursue their dreams of family and personal achievement.
Amelia was a leader who was ahead of her time. Immediately upon arriving in Meriden, she joined the local chapters of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters, where she advocated for social justice and educational equality. Committed to the importance of strong local government, she began her formal political career with her election to the Meriden Board of Education, where she served as president from 1974-1978.
A trailblazer for women in politics, in 1978 she was elected as the Senator for the 13th District, serving eight terms and rising to the position of Deputy Majority Leader. Both in the Senate and as a leader in the National Conference of State Legislators, Amelia was noted for her ability to reach across the aisle to identify solutions to complex state issues. John was a steadfast supporter of her political career and stood by her side for every election. Her 2018 induction into the Meriden Hall of Fame provided John and Amelia, their children and grandchildren, an opportunity to celebrate the culmination of a wonderful career of service and achievement.
John and Amelia were preceded in death by their sons Stephen and John, John’s parents and nine of his twelve siblings, and Amelia’s parents and two siblings. They are survived by their son Paul (Carol Mustone), daughters Lisa (Phil Alexander), Mary Ellen, Stacey (Roger Snelling) and Jessica; John’s two sisters, Helen D’Avolio and Rita Shaw, and Amelia’s niece Gayle Cavanaugh. They were adored by their grandchildren—Julia, John and Elise (Alexander); Trevor, Amelia and Anastasia (Snelling); Courtney and Alexandra (Blum); and Saverio (Mustone) —as well as by their many nieces and nephews.
Services will include a wake from 4:00 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main St., Meriden, CT 06450. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 26, 2019 at Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish, Mt. Carmel Campus, 109 Goodwill Avenue, Meriden. Everyone is asked to gather directly at the church. Interment will be private. For online condolences, please visit jferryfh.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (https://www.nationalmssociety.org) or the Meriden Humane Society (https://www.meridenhumanesocietyrescue.com ).