A Tribute to Our Members Who Have Passed!
Friday, July 17, 2020
The Town of Hamden has lost a Great Man & a Good Friend Today.
"R.I.P. Mike Colaiacovo Jr. Thank you for all you have done for so many.
You will always be remembered!"
To the Hamden Community who has lost a Good Friend and a Great Man,
As I sit here today and attempt to put into words what a Great Man Michael Colaiacovo Jr. was, my heart is so very heavy for his loss. So many people knew him by name but only a few really knew the real Mike. To say he was a “Hometown Hero” only describes a small part of the real person who Mike was. Mike did so much for so many and his thousands of hours of service to the Town of Hamden was just a part of what he did for so many people behind the scenes. His limitless number of hours that he devoted to the Town of Hamden as a member of the Legislative Council, representing District 7 for close to 15 years, was only a small part of the person that he was!
I am proud to say that Mike was a Member of the Hamden CERT Program and not only did he find the time during his busy schedule to participate in the class years ago, but made sure to bring along some of his Council Members with him! He wanted to make as many of his fellow Council Members aware of what the Hamden CERT Program was all about. He may not have put on the uniform (We did get him to wear the helmet a few times during training!) but he was always a phone call away and continually made it a priority to be with us at graduation ceremonies and special events to let our members know how much our team was appreciated. At any community event where CERT was working, he would always make sure to stop by and say "Hi" to our members and see how our team was doing.
With a little persuasion from Mike’s Sister Debbie (DiLeone), not only did Mike become a CERT Member but Debbie also influenced her son Mark and Father, Mike Senior to consider our class also! We have been blessed and are honored to have the whole Colaciacovo Clan to be part of our Team! When a total renovation was needed years ago on our 1994 CERT Vehicle, Mike was the one that made it happen and secured funds though the council to help us sustain our truck for a few more years! This is just a small example of what Mike did to help many civic and volunteer services like Hamden CERT and the Volunteer Firefighters from Dunbar Hill Volunteer Station #8.
It was always about what Mike could do for Hamden, to make the residents of Hamden safer and to insure the best of conditions for the town and its citizens that he loved! This tribute to Mike will always be part of our website and his memory will always remain in our hearts. He will be missed by so many and especially those who were privileged to have known Mike, worked alongside of him or had the privilege to call him friend. From all of our CERT Members, please accept our sincere condolences to Mike’s Family, his Hamden Family and to his many friends and fellow civil servants.
“May the Good Lord always hold you close Mike and protect those that you loved! Thank you Mike for always being there for us."
Rest Easy My Friend!
RIP Hamden CERT Team Member Sharyn Wetmore,
Original Hamden CERT Member & Team Leader from Hamden CERT Class #1
"Thank you for all you have done, Sharyn, you will be missed by many."
1948 – 2019
Sharyn L. Wetmore Burkle, age 70, of Hamden, passed away on April 9, 2019. Born in New Haven on April 27, 1948, she was the daughter of the late Edward and Lorayn (Peet) Hooghkirk. Sharon was predeceased by her husbands, Duane K. Wetmore and Richard Burkle.
A resident of Hamden all her life, Sharyn was employed by the Town of Hamden as a clerk in the Tax Department for years, and later worked at the Margaret L. Keefe Center. Sharyn was also was a Justice of the Peace and a Notary Public. Most of all, Sharyn was known for her love of her horses over the years.
Sharyn was also one of the first members of the Hamden Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). After her training and class graduation; she became one of the 1st Hamden CERT Team Leaders who was responsible for getting the team activated and making sure that the CERT Vehicle responded to any emergency scene. Sharyn will always be remembered as a true team player and made sure that all new team members were taken aside, made comfortable and shared any necessary information on required duties and our operations. During emergencies, she was the first to reach out to any person in need and treated them as if they were her own family!
She will always be remembered for her friendly, loving and caring personality that was not only a great example to our team members but also to everyone in our community, especially those who were lucky enough to have been called a friend! Rest in Peace Sharyn, thank you for all you have done for so many, you will be sincerely missed!
April 9, 2019
In Loving Memory of Our CERT Sister
RIP Hamden CERT Team Member Steve Coulon.
We lost our Tutor & Team Coach on
Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
"Thank you for all you have done, for so many!"
Steve Coulon was known by many titles; Dad, Friend, Brother, Chief, Officer, Leader and Teacher. His qualities would be listed as Strong, Dependable, Dedicated and Enthusiastic and believe it or not, sometimes he could even be Feisty or Aggressive! His aggressions were only to relay his passion for the safety for emergency service members and his vast knowledge of law enforcement, fire service and terrorism awareness. His only goal was to keep his Brothers and Sisters of Emergency Services safe, healthy and aware of the dangers of the trade.
It has been told that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat children and animals. Steve is a great example of this theory and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, knew his love of children and his many pets!
As a retired member of New York Police Department (NYPD) Steve served in the Traffic Unit as a Motorcycle Officer and after retirement was brought on board by the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) as a member of the Special Operations Command, Safety Battalion as a Forensic Safety Consultant with the title of Honorary Battalion Chief, FDNY. Steve also served as an Instructor of the Connecticut Fire Academy teaching at the academy in Windsor Locks and at just about every fire department throughout the state of Connecticut. Steve started his emergency service career working as a Volunteer Firefighter in North Branford and also at the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in New Haven and later as one of the first Emergency Medical Technicians serving with Parents, New Haven Ambulance back in the sixties and seventies. He later served as a Volunteer Firefighter and a Fire Police Officer in North Haven. Over the last few years, Steve volunteered countless hours of training and exercises for his fellow Hamden CERT Members! All of his classes were educational, fact finding and beyond entertaining!
Many of us have lived our dream of becoming a firefighter and having the chance to work the best job in the world. Some of us have had the honor of coming up through the ranks into the fire officer positions. For some of us, who have been blessed in both of these categories, there was no higher honor than walking into one of the many Connecticut Fire Stations or FDNY Facilities with Steve Coulon and having him introduce me as his friend. It is an honor that will always be treasured and remembered as a gift that many have not achieved. I personally will always miss the rides down to “The Rock” (FDNY Training Facility), Mid Town Manhattan, Fort Totten, in Queens and many other stops throughout the boroughs in the City that Never Sleeps. "I am so grateful that I had the chance to listen to many of Steve’s lessons, encounters and experiences that would always be humorous, educational, and historical, sometimes even beyond words!" I’ll miss the rides to Doogies Hot Dog Stand in Newington, Joey Garlic’s, Modern Pizza and most of all Jackson Hole Diner in Astoria, Queens. One of his many adages will always stay with me; “If you can’t do your job, get out of the way and go sit on the curb!” I am so thankful and blessed that I was able to experience and grow to know Steve Coulon. I will always be honored that he called me His Friend and My Brother!
“Rest in peace My Brother, we’ll take it from here and meet again up on the top floor!”
RIP Hamden CERT Team Member Mike Johnson.
We lost the Patriarch of our team on
Sunday, July 31, 2016.
"We will miss you Uncle Mike."
We are saddened to announce that we lost one of our Senior CERT Members last Sunday morning. Mike Johnson passed at home at approximately 10:30 am. His passing was about 2 weeks after receiving double by-pass surgery.
Mike was one of our more active members even though he turned 90 on July 2nd. We thought of him as 50 with 40 years of experience since he set the pace when it came to work and getting projects done for our team! Mike was a Veteran of World War II serving in the Philippines. After the war, Mike played baseball for the well known "Hamden Plainsmen" and was inducted into the Southern Connecticut Diamond Clubs 2014 Hall of Fame. Mike was also active with the Hamden Veterans Commission acting as a Commissioner and was chosen the Grand Marshal for the Memorial Day Parade in 2014.
Mike was also one of the key members in the starting of the State Street Cemetery Group, helping to clean up the cemetery after many years of abandonment. It was not unusual for Mike and his wife Rita to make numerous trips each week from the cemetery bringing brush and trash to the town dump helping to make the cemetery more adequate for the many veterans that are buried there.
Mike & his family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers forever because of his many projects and additions he created for our Hamden CERT Vehicle. He was instrumental in making small repairs to the interior and always adding the small appliance holders and equipment brackets, key racks and any other needed additions. One great example of what this man was about is that he converted his “homemade house trailer" into a Shelter Equipment Trailer and donated it to the Town and his team. This is a major loss for our “CERT Family” and the many acquaintances that Mike has made over the years. Mike will always be remembered and we will continue to share with us the drive and determination to serve our community, be kind to our fellow man along with all of the traits that Mike instilled in us.
"Thank you Uncle Mike, Rest in Peace Brother, you will be missed by many!"