We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Matt Funeral Service, Inc
Bernard “Ben” Turi, 94, passed away at home, with the love of his family in his heart, Tuesday, August 16, 2022.
Ben was born in Utica, April 9, 1928, a son of the late Bernardino Sante and Maryrose (Marino - Maggiolino) Turi. He was educated in local schools and a 1946 graduate of T.R. Proctor High School, where he excelled in track, football, and basketball. Known, as “Crazy Legs Turi”, he held the Central Oneida League High Hurdle title for many years. On February 3, 1951, at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church, Ben was joined in marriage to the former Antonia E. “Toni” Fiore. Ben and Toni shared a loving union for over seventy-one years.
Following high school, he attended Syracuse University, majoring in Physical Education and received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1950. Ben taught 4th grade at Conkling and Brandegee schools in Utica and was a varsity football coach at Proctor High School for many years. Following his teaching career, he began a career at State Farm Insurance, as a sales representative for several years. He then took a position as a supervisor, in the Adult Probation Program in the Oneida County Probation Department, with his best friend, Frank Scalise.
Ben went on to join Chromalloy American Corporation, where he served as vice president of Sales and Marketing. As chief negotiator, Ben successfully secured all twenty-two of his contracts with the United States Air Force. In his final professional venture, Ben was the Marketing Director at the Ambassador Plaza Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico, working alongside longtime friend F. Eugene “Gene” Romano.
A true family patriarch, Ben devoted his life to his children, grandchildren, and extended family. Affectionately known to his grandchildren as ‘Poppy’, Ben was everyone’s loudest cheerleader and never missed any event in their lives, Francesca’s tennis matches; Alexandra’s tennis matches and basketball games; Bernie’s baseball games; and Allie’s soccer games.
His family’s accomplishments were his greatest joy, Bernadette T. Clark, Justice of the New York Supreme Court; Bernard J. Turi, Esq., Executive Vice-President of Utica National Insurance Group; and Maryrose Behan, Director Manager of Human Resources at United Sates Postal Service (Retired); his grandchildren, Francesca E. Romano, Sales and Marketing at The Fountainhead Group; Bernard J. Turi, Business Development Specialist at Societa` Nazionale Metandotti, S.p.A.(Italy); Alexandra J.L. Romano, Esq., Associate Attorney at Melick & Porter, LLP, Boston, MA; and Alessandra E. Turi, Interior Designer & also founder of A’mare Design Co..
A master story teller, Ben possessed a quick wit and uncanny sense of humor. He was the consummate Master of Ceremonies and was involved in many community events over the years. Ben loved the political arena and was always everyone’s number one volunteer, especially for his daughter, Bernadette and niece, RoAnn.
In younger years, he loved performing in vaudeville shows and was involved in many productions at the Player’s Theater. He was very proud of his Italian heritage and was a past president of the St. Cosmo and Damian Society and a longtime member of the Sons of Italy.
Ben loved to play golf, listen to Frank Sinatra, loved to go to the movies with Toni, family, and friends, and of course, as we all know, he had a legendary appetite and loved a great meal, right to the end.
A true lion and go-to person, for his family and many friends, he leaves a huge hole in everyone’s heart.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Toni; two daughters and sons-in-law, Hon. Bernadette and Tom Clark, and Maryrose and Dan Behan; son, Bernard J. Turi, Esq. and Kerry Maya; his adored grandchildren, Francesca E. Romano and fiancé, August J. Groth IV, Alexandra J.L.Romano, Esq., Bernard J. Turi and Alessandra E. Turi, Architect and Jonny Cangemi, and their mother, Carol Turi; his sister-in-law, Victoria Balzano; nieces and nephews, RoAnn Destito, Maurice and Janet Maggiolino, Maryrose and Ralph Lucarelli, Judianne and Richard Smith, Rosemary and John Morgan, and Rosemarie and Jim Diana; and also great nieces and great nephews, Christopher Destito and fiancé, Jen Calandra, Maurice and Mandy Maggiolino, Jon Michael and Becky Maggiolino, Aimi and Mark Grysko, Lisa Lucarelli and Robert Mirando, Michael and Annaliese Lucarelli, Justin and Gretchen Smith, Matthew and Elizabeth Smith, Adrienne Smith, Michael and Andrea Morgan, Mimi and John Randall, Frank and Carlaine Madia, Tricia and Joseph Spina, and Dominick and Stephen Fiore; a special cousin, Lucretia Hunt; and also special friends, Tommy Dacquino, Sam Sr. and Sam Jr. Simon, Bernie Froio, and Chuck Sadallah. He was predeceased by his sisters and brother-in-law, Mary DeTraglia and Madge and Walter Eddington; brothers and sister-in-law, Maurice and Rose Maggiolino and Frank Maggiolino; brother-in-law, Frank “Hank” Balzano; brothers-in-law, Michael Fiore and Salvatore Fiore; his nephew, Chris Destito; and his best friend, Frank Scalise.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial, Saturday, August 20, 11 am, at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish. Private interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. The family will greet visitors following mass.
The family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Fred Talarico, Dr. Nick Qandah, Dr. Dominic Aiello, Dr. Fayez Chahfe, and Dr. Zac Passeretti, for their loving care of their dad.
In memory of Ben Turi, please consider donations to The Community Foundation, to establish a fund in Ben’s name to support youth sports in the Utica area.
2608 Genesee Street, Utica NY 13502