December 8, 1916 - July 26, 2020
Concetta Gentile Coria (Connie) of Scott Depot, WV, passed away peacefully on Sunday afternoon, July 26, 2020 at the age of 103. Connie was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on December 8, 1916 to the late Sebastiano and Santa Gentile. In addition to her parents, Connie was predeceased by her loving husband of 66 years, Frank Coria, three siblings, Mary Tarullo, Anthony Gentile and Frank Gentile and her only son-in-law, whom she loved beyond words, O.L.”Leff” Moore. She leaves behind cousins, nieces and nephews who will mourn her passing and most important to Connie, her only child, her daughter, “Nonni” Karen Coria of Hurricane, WV. Connie’s faith was rock solid. As a 70 year member of the 1st Congregational Church in Waterbury, she was involved in numerous church events including singing in the choir. She had a strong voice that could be heard above all others. She volunteered to visit the sick and feed the homeless. Her parents like many immigrants of that generation arrived at Ellis Island from their home place in the province of Syracuse, Sicily with nothing but their hopes and dreams of building a better life in America. They accomplished just that and raised a family of children who despite not speaking English as their first language all prospered, were highly educated and brought joy and happiness to their humble parents. Connie, “C” as the family called her, was driven to learn, to educate herself to extremes, to perfect her skills no matter how small and only if it was “perfect” was it acceptable. Not an easy example to follow. As a young child, she and her siblings, groomed their skills as musicians at a local Congregational church that emphasized music as part of their programming; Mary, piano, organ and mandolin, Tony, clarinet and saxophone, Frank piano and mandolin and “C” violin and tenor saxophone. For Connie, her life became her music. Her brother Frank told many Connie stories and said that she was late to school, every day, because she would insist on going into the closet, before everyone was awake and practice her violin.. She was a gifted saxophone player and at the age of 17, she was asked to play professionally with a local jazz band. Because she was underage, she was not eligible for a musicians union card. Determined to make it happen, she and her new tutor lied on the union card application and Connie was on her way to a musical calling that spanned 10 generations. She carried the card in her wallet her entire life. Connie became a member of an all-girls jazz band, played weekly with local big bands for more than 20 years and was 1st violinist as a concert violinist for more than 30 years. She remained faithful to her music until the last year of her life when her violin was too heavy for her to hold. She graduated from Wilby High School in Waterbury and set about working during the day at a local manufacturing shop and playing her music at night. She was unable to fulfill her dream of college at that time, but would graduate 52 years later with an Associate Degree with highest honors in her class. She always had a love of reading and books were piled high throughout her home. At one point, she hoped to become a librarian as she spent endless hours, in the library, soaking up every book she touched. She met the love of her life, Frank, when he was 9 years old. They were destined to be together and were married on Columbus Day, 1941. In the early 50’s, with a husband and child to take care of, she was way ahead of her time when she started reading about the importance of eating healthy and became an advocate of the Mediterranean diet so popular today. Adding exercise to her daily regimen, she walked a minimum of 2 miles, no matter what the weather. Frank would be furious when he often realized that Connie was walking the streets at 10 PM because she hadn’t made time to walk earlier in the day. Connie was also an avid swimmer and during summer months, the entire family, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins moved out of the unbearable heat of the city and enjoyed Hammonasset Beach State Park and eventually Walnut Beach on the Long Island Sound, where life was so simple and full of fun. Frank and Connie were a team in everything they did and when Frank decided to start his own business, Connie played a major role. For 30 years, she was the CFO, taking care of all the financials, doing the hiring, administrative work and running the office duties of the business while Frank became a well-known and respected Contractor throughout Connecticut. While doing this, she became interested in real estate and within 2 years added a realtor hat to her remarkable full life. At the age of 70, she and Frank would make a major decision to leave Connecticut and their family and move to West Virginia to live near their daughter, Karen and her husband, Leff. Connie and Frank treasured their new home and surroundings and soon became a part of the community. They learned to appreciate the Appalachian history and they sang Country Roads with a gusto now that they, too, were West Virginians. Once getting settled, Frank and Connie enjoyed winters in Naples, Florida where they had visited their entire lives in hopes of being able to live there someday. Connie was a charter member of the Putnam County Democratic Women’s Club where she enjoyed fellowship with members and sharing her thoughts about politics and life. She was politically savvy and kept up with the national news and trends until her passing. She never missed a chance to vote in her entire life and was insistent that her vote counted. She strongly believed in fairness and justice for all, having lived through a period when nationalities fought for their place in the community, having struggled to be recognized like many with their different customs and language barriers. She was a fighter. She fought against all hardships endured by those who were brave enough to try and succeed. She surrounded herself with the things she valued; her family, her God and her precious violin. When asked the secret to her longevity, she would reply,” You must study every day and take care of your body.” This she did and she did it well. A special THANK YOU for the loving care shown to Connie by the nurses and staff, by Jason with his heart-leading decisions, at Rolling Meadows Place in Scott Depot. May you continue to remain safe during this time of COVID-19. To Kanawha County Hospice for their extra efforts to make Connie comfortable. Thank you to those who spent the most time with Connie and who showed their love and admiration for her by being available as needed. David Gwinn and Marcia Duran. THE BEST THERE IS! A celebration of Connie’s life will be held on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 1:00 PM with a visitation between 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM at Chapman Funeral Home in Hurricane, Social Distancing will be observed along with masks being mandatory. You may also visit her tribute page at ChapmanFuneralHomes.com to share memories and offer condolences to the family. Chapman Funeral Home and Crematory, family-owned and located at 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane is honored to serve the Coria family.
Concetta Gentile Coria (Connie) of Scott Depot, WV, passed away peacefully on Sunday afternoon, July 26, 2020 at the age of 103. Connie was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on December 8, 1916 to the late Sebastiano and Santa Gentile. In addition... View Obituary & Service Information
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