BRISTOL - One of Bristolâ€™s World War II veterans, Dominic â€śNickâ€ť Raponey, Jr., passed away this week, leaving behind many memories for community members.
Many people may remember Raponey from the Bristol Polish American Citizen Club, American Legion #2 or from his 38 years as head of building and maintenance at Bristol Central High School.
â€śOne of the nicest people Iâ€™ve ever met,â€ť said Chris Laporte, President of the Bristol Polish American Citizen Club.
Raponey was a very active member of the Bristol Polish American Citizen Club, holding the position of secretary for more than 40 years. He would meet periodically with a group of friends to play cards and have a laugh. He also manned the BINGO table on Wednesday nights and no matter what craziness ensued, he would maintain an even keel.
â€śNicky,â€ť as some of his friends referred to him as, was also very active with St. Francis de Sales at St. Anthony Parish for many years and was also an usher there for over 70 years.
â€śWhen he said he was praying for you, he meant it,â€ť said Laporte.
Raponey was born and raised in Bristol and attended local schools. He also served with the U.S. Merchant Marines during WWII.
John Lodovico, a lifelong member of the St. Anthony parish and a recipient of the St. Joseph Medal of Honor, said that Raponey was a very proud veteran and a gentleman.
â€śAlways had a smile on his face,â€ť said Lodovico. â€śHeâ€™s gonna surely be missed,â€ť he added.
Besides the love he had for his wife, Violet Raponey, and the love he had for his church, Raponey also had love for Polka.
Laporte said that he loved polka dances. He also said that he kept the tradition going even after the Polish club wanted to cancel them due to cost and lack of interest. Raponey would even get out on the floor at every Polka dance the club held. He also won several awards for his Polka dancing skills.
The funeral service will be held Monday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m., at St. Francie de Sales at St. Anthony Church, 111 School St., Bristol.