ONEONTA – Bruno A. Talevi, still looking fit in his World War II Navy uniform, departed this life and went to grasp the hand of the Lord on April 3, 2021.
“Paw-Paw”, as his beloved grandchildren dubbed him, was born in New York City on Aug. 16, 1925, the son of Peter and Rose Talevi. He grew up on the streets of New York and Long Island, playing stickball, Johnny-on-the-Pony, and pinball, and eventually graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School at 16.
After graduation, he worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), formed to obtain information to sabotage the military efforts of enemy nations during World War II.
Bruno joined the Navy as soon as he turned 18, assigned to the signal corps, transmitting teletype messages from the South Pacific. Although devoted to the military and a loyal American, he was saddened by the dropping of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Honorably discharged, Bruno returned home and met a beautiful young lady – Vera A. Careccio, whom he married on Aug. 22, 1948.
The G.I. Bill enabled Bruno to attend St. John’s University, and he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1950. He joined a small accounting firm in New York City for three years, then moved to Oneonta, where his accounting practice grew to be the largest in three counties.
He retired in 1986 after moving to Cooperstown with Vera.
For many years, he was the personal confidant to Walter Rich, Delaware & Otsego Railroad president, and was active in civic life, serving on the Oneonta City Planning Board and chairing the county Planning Board. He was also a Boy Scout leader as both his sons rose to Eagle Scouts, and he was a member of the county Office of the Aging Advisory Council. He was a member of Oneonta’s Junior Chamber of Commerce, chaired the finance committee at St. Mary’s, Cooperstown, and volunteered with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).
He taught accounting at Hartwick College, and spent the first five minutes of each class leading a discussion on the importance of being kind, loving and respectful to your fellow man.
He was a member of the Cooperstown Country Club, the Oneonta Kiwanis, and Cooperstown Rotary, where he was a Paul Harris fellow. He volunteered at Bassett Hospital and was a member of the Friends of Bassett. He asked to have his body donated to the Albany Medical College for research.
Asked for advice by Peter Macris, a Glimmerglass Opera founder, about its viability, he donated many hours of in-kind service.
He and Vera enjoyed traveling, with Italy as his favorite destination. He was fluent in Italian, and Italians he conversed with were surprised he wasn’t raised in Italy. The Institute of Genealogy Research found there were five bishops in his family going back to the 13th century. His family flourished during the Malatesta reign.
Raised in the big city, Bruno became a proficient backyard gardener, sharing his harvest with friends. For recreation, he played racquetball, golf and tennis.
Bruno always had a friendly greeting with a broad smile. He loved life and was happy and comfortable in his home on Otsego Lake with Vera.
His parents, his two brothers, Henry and Armando, a sister Deena, and a nephew, Peter, predeceased Bruno.
In addition to his wife of 72 years, survivors include sons Robert Bruce (Margaret) of Hopewell Junction, and Steven James of Richfield Springs, and grandchildren Jennifer Anne Talevi of Paris, France, and Christopher Anthony Talevi of Lynchburg, Va., as well as nieces, Barbara Zacchi (Bill) and Deborah Oram (Bill), and their children, Justin Zacchi and Chelsea Oram.
Calling hours are 5 – 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at Tillapaugh Funeral Home, Cooperstown. A Memorial Service will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic Church,” Cooperstown.
Memorial contributions may be made to Otsego 2000, Box 1130, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, call Tillapaugh Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements, at (607) 547-2571, to make a reservation for the calling hours or service.
A Committal Service with military honors will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Index, at a later date.