Mario Mesi

The WMNR family was saddened to learn that Mario Mesi passed away unexpectedly on November 29, 2016. 
Mario was a volunteer broadcaster on WMNR from 1988 to 2015.  He began on the Sunday afternoon shift and then migrated to Sunday mornings from 9:00 am to noon.   He was extremely supportive of the station and especially of other broadcasters.    
Jane Stadler, WMNR Operations Director, says “During our membership drives Mario cheered us on by bringing in some bears from his teddy bear collection.  They were put right to work to help raise money.   Mario, however, was the biggest teddy bear of all.   He always welcomed people with a great big bear hug and an even bigger smile.  He was a good, dear friend and he will be terribly missed.”

Fellow Broadcaster Diana Blase adds, “How very sad! Mario was in the same WMNR Introduction to Broadcasting class as I was in 1988. He was always kind and soft spoken but made his words count. He loved music, which is always an excellent calling card, and he had high hopes for WMNR to evolve into a great radio station.

It's people like him that remind us of what's good in humanity. He has been missed, and I will continue to miss him.”

Mario was born January 17, 1939, in Manhattan, son of the late Joseph and Josephine (Scaccia) Mesi. He was a philanthropist who had been a school teacher in Weston.

Mario continued to support education by establishing scholarships at West Conn and several universities in New Jersey, providing financial assistance to music, nursing and LGBT students. He enjoyed following their progress by receiving letters and reports from the recipients.

He worked as an usher at Munson-Lovetere Funeral Homes in Woodbury for more than 10 years, a job he excelled at because of his warm nature and generous spirit.

He was a longtime volunteer at the Southbury Training School Thrift Shop and at the Counseling Center at New York’s St. Vincent Hospital. Mario served on the Connecticut Choral Society Scholarship Committee and was an enthusiastic volunteer for the choral group.

He enjoyed gardening and birding at The Hearth in Southbury and was the “go to person” for residents needing advice on their plants. Everyone had a chance to appreciate the variety of birds who flocked to The Hearth’s bird feeders, which Mario kept stocked. His presence enhanced the lives of everyone he touched.

Mario leaves many longtime friends. He was predeceased by his partner, Joel Kannengeiser; his sister, Millicent Ratta, and his niece, Janice Binnes.

A memorial Mass took place at St. Teresa of Avila Church, Woodbury, CT. Burial was in New North Cemetery in Woodbury.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Western Connecticut University Schoolmasters Special Scholarship in memory of Joel Kannengeiser, attn: Nancy Barton, Director of Financial Aid, WCSU, 181 White St., Danbury 06810.

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