A Tribute to Our Members & Friends
Who Have Passed!
August 2nd 2022
RIP Hamden Police Officer & Friend of Hamden CERT, Mike Pantera.
"Thank you for all you have done for all of our Hamden Community Mike! You will be missed by many and never forgotten!"
The Hamden CERT Members would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Hamden PD Officer Michael Pantera, who was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident in North Branford on August 2nd. We also extend our condolences to: His Brothers and Sisters of the Hamden Police Department.
Mike was a 24-year veteran of the Hamden Police Department and recently retired on July 31st, two days prior to his passing. Mike was a compassionate Police Officer that cared deeply about the Hamden community and always served everyone with kindness and professionalism.
To say that Mike was a friend of CERT is an understatement! He always found the time, over the years to stop by our command vehicle whenever we worked together, at any community event!
"May the Good Lord always hold you close Mike and protect those that you loved! Thank you Mike for always being there for us."
November 29, 2021
RIP Hamden CERT Member Carol Teodosio.
"Thank you for all you have done, not only for our team, but for all of our Hamden Community!
You will be missed by many and will never be forgotten!"
How do you start to tell people about Our CERT Sister Carol Teodosio? Carol was beyond explanation for so many reasons. Not only was Carol a major part of Hamden CERT, she was a major part of the Town of Hamden. Graduating from Hamden High School in 1975, Carol spent over 22 years at the Hamden Board of Education serving as an Administrative Secretary and also working in the Finance Department. She also represented her co-workers as their Union President.
Carol joined the Hamden Community Emergency Response Team in 2012 and was so much more than just a team member. She along with her husband Bob and son Steve, did more than anyone could imagine, behind the scenes for the Hamden CERT Program. When it came to uniforms, patches, name tags, curtains or any other needs, Carol was always there to get the job done for us! We would like to share one example of the caring person that Carol was. When the COVID Pandemic struck early in 2020, she spent days making facemasks for Hamden’s 1st Responders and her fellow CERT Members. (See below.) A few weeks later, she made a special, custom order facemask for “Johnathan, the University of Connecticut Huskie!”
Besides her husband Bob, her family and her love of animals, she always held a special place in her heart for her Brother & Sister CERT Members, who she always considered her: CERT Family. Our sincere condolences go out to Bob, Stephen and all of Carol’s Family. No words can convey the void in our hearts and emptiness that our team will feel for quite some time, not having Carol there with us. She was always just a phone call away whether it was for a fire emergency at 2 am or any planned event greeting and helping others for hours on end.
Carol, you loved us more than we could ever love you back. You will stay in our broken hearts and be remembered forever! We know that the Good Lord will keep you close and we look forward to when we can be with you again. We thank you for choosing us and we also thank God, because He blessed us by sharing you with us, for all the good times! Rest in Peace Our Sister, you certainly deserved your rest.
March 16, 2021
R.I.P. Hamden CERT Member Barry Simmons.
"Thank you for all you have done Barry, for so many!
You will be deeply missed."
RIP Hamden CERT Member Barry Simmons
March 16, 2021 – "We have lost one of our most caring and giving Team Members who could never do enough for anyone and everyone!"
The Hamden CERT Program has lost one of most cherished members: Barry Simmons who always considered what he could do for the community and anyone who was in need. Barry was one of the first members of the North Haven CERT Program who graduated with their first class. He transferred over to Hamden years ago and was welcomed by our Hamden CERT Family with open arms. Knowing Barry for 5 minutes was like you knew him for years; caring, giving, and thoughtful were only a few of his most treasured qualities. Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Donna and to all of his family. Barry’s strength and courage throughout his battle for well over two years, will always be an inspiration to us!
Having worked for many years for the UI Company in New Haven and Bridgeport Power Stations, as a Senior Plant Technician Operator, there wasn’t anything that Barry couldn’t fix or was not familiar with. Weather it was construction, utilities or just simple repairs, Barry was the one to look for when repairs or refurbishing were needed. Barry was also the master of the waterways throughout the Connecticut coastline. His enjoyment was being out on one of his many sailboats, challenging the seas in any weather, along with taking part in and enjoying many competitions.
When Barry became sick and diagnosed back in 2018, the outlook was not good and we were hoping for a few months of quality life. Being a positive thinker, his strong faith in God and the “Never give up attitude”, he proved to everyone that he would fight the fight and continue to enjoy life. We would like to thank the Staff of Yale New Haven, Smilow Care Center, Devine Street in North Haven for over 2 years of professional and caring treatment. Special thanks go out to Dr. Jeremy Kortmansky, Virginia Syombathy and also to Jean, Mike and many members of the staff and volunteers who Barry considered to be: “Angels without Wings!”
“We are glad that we had the chance to tell you Barry, that: “We Love You” and you will never be forgotten for all of your good works for so many people!” Your passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts but we will remember all of the good days and always be thankful that we had the opportunity to work alongside you. We also promise to never give up on the NY Football Giants and the NY Rangers! You have been an inspiration to all of us and we promise that we will use you as our example, continue to do for others and to “Never give up” when things get tough! We’ll look forward to seeing you again upstairs and we know that you’ll have our place, ready and upgraded for our arrival!
“May the Good Lord keep you close and bless & protect the ones that you loved!”
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 was 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!"