West Hartford resident Tim Confessore passed away on Aug. 2, 2017, at the age of 55.
By Ronni Newton
Family, friends, and business associates are saddened to hear of the passing of Tim Confessore, the longtime owner of Cricket Press and a man known for his kindness, generosity, and support of countless community organizations.
Confessore, 55, was a lifelong resident of West Hartford. He died of cancer on Wednesday afternoon at the Conklin Building at Hartford Hospital, surrounded by his wife, Michele, his daughter, Cait (25), son, Greg (23), and sister, Jane Confessore DiGangi.
Tim attended Duffy and Sedgwick, and graduated from Conard High School in 1980. He first started working at Cricket Press as a summer employee 38 years ago.
When interviewed in 2001 [West Hartford News article by Ronni Newton, Nov. 29, 2001], on the occasion of Cricket Press’ 30th anniversary, Confessore said that then-owner Bill Teasdale said, “If you can run the press, you’ve got the job.” And although Tim admitted he made a mess on that first day, he said his persistence and patience paid off and led to a career that he loved.
In 1987, at the age of 26, Tim took over the role of president of Cricket Press from Teasdale, who continued to work there until 2013. Teasdale passed away in October 2016 at the age of 88.
Cricket Press was located on LaSalle Road when Teasdale launched the business in 1971, and moved to 19 Sedgwick Rd. in 1984. In May 2010, Tim moved Cricket Press to its current and much-more-spacious location at 236 Park Rd.
Tim built the company’s legacy on quality work and superior customer service. He was also known as an ardent supporter of the community, sponsoring youth sports teams and donating his services to countless organizations and fundraisers. Check the credits on nearly every event program for a West Hartford non-profit and you will likely find that Cricket did the printing.
“Tim was always so generous to the West Hartford community. Cricket Press was always ready to support local organizations,” said Lisa Bugos, who worked with him on projects for West Hartford Youth Soccer, the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools, and Conard Safe Grad – just a few of the many organizations that benefitted from his generosity.
“He was not only a good friend but he, through Cricket, supported so many community fundraising causes,” said Dodie Mendal, a veteran organizer of many fundraisers and local events. “The Sedgwick and Conard High School musicals. He was our go to guy for the many Soccer Balls that we held to build the fields and was an early sponsor of West Hartford women’s soccer and always got it done even when Helen [Rubino-Turco] and I were down to the wire getting the final copy of program to him.”
“I had many long conversations with him when picking up printing jobs and his kindness, sense of humor, and pride in his family was always evident in those conversations,” Bugos said.
Bugos was shocked when she heard of Confessore’s passing, and like many others was not aware that he was ill.
“He said he didn’t want people to know because he wanted Cricket to thrive,” Greg said. It wasn’t that he was being private. “He didn’t want ‘Tim being sick’ to interfere with Cricket Press,” Greg said.
Taking care of business was important to Tim. “He was pretty cool. He was a pretty big deal, even if he didn’t think so,” Michele said. His reach extended to so many people, so many organizations.
“He didn’t get recognized a lot, but he wasn’t into recognition,” Michele said.
“While Tim may not have been the social butterfly, he was certainly the man about town and will be sorely missed,” Mendal said.
The family gathered at the Confessore’s West Hartford home on Thursday evening, sharing memories of a husband, a dad, a brother, a son – who touched so many lives but remained humble to the end.
“He was such a softie, such a softie,” Cait said. He was professional, and always considered himself introspective, but he was also a “big goofball” who would always take control of the room and make sure everyone in it knew they were special and had made a positive impact. Even when he was in the hospital, he made those taking care of him feel special, she said.
“He never took himself too seriously,” Michele said. He made silly videos that he shared through Snapchat, as recently as last week, the day he was admitted to the hospital.
Family came first for the Confessores, and the family had seven months to savor every moment after Tim was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer at the beginning of 2017.
Michele and Tim were married 30 years last October. They were a unit – “BOGO,” Tim’s sister Jane said. With the kids added they became “Team BOGO.”
Greg used another acronym when speaking of his dad. “He told me, ‘I’m not scared of dying. I have serious FOMO [fear of missing out].'”
“Not everybody is that realistic about the outcome, but he was who he was,” Jane said.
Tim stayed very involved in his kids’ lives, even as they grew up and became adults. Greg played baseball for Wentworth Institute of Technology and said his dad missed only four games over the entire four year period – even attending spring training.
“He hated baseball until Greg started playing. Then he became its biggest fan,” Cait said.
Both Greg and Cait were accepted into the Disney College Program and he loved visiting them there. Michele drove them down and when each finished their time in Orlando, Tim drove them home – a three-day uninterrupted “dad time” road trip punctuated with side trips to NASCAR and Indycar venues all along the way.
When the kids were at home, Tim would always tuck them in at night, touching index fingers before parting. “I’m 25 and he’d still tuck me in,” Cait said.
Family time was also synonymous with visits to Northfield, VT, where Tim’s grandparents were from, and Point ‘O Woods where the family has a cottage.
“Family is more than just blood,” Cait said. It includes the Italias – who recently lost their dad to brain cancer.
The Confessore and Italia families were able to spend two weeks at Point ‘O Woods this summer before Tim had to return home for a scheduled medical appointment and received bad news from the doctors about the progression of his cancer.
Cricket Press was also family. “Cricket was an extension of Tim. He was Cricket,” Michele said.
Confessore’s legacy will live on through his dedicated team at Cricket Press, and as it has for more than four decades, the business will continue to serve the printing needs of West Hartford and beyond.
“The future is a work in progress. The team is still there even if one seat is empty,” Michele said. “Cricket will push forward and will make Tim proud.”
Tim loved to sing and he loved Disney. Cait said the theme for her Disney College Program was the Disney movie “Tangled,” and Tim loved the song “I’ve Got a Dream.” When Cait got a new job earlier this year, he quoted that song, telling her: “I’m so glad you left your tower.”
Music was always playing in Tim’s hospital room, and Cait had chosen a Disney channel. That’s the song that started playing on Wednesday, as he took his last breath.
Michele posted the following on Wednesday afternoon: “Tim went to join his mom, his best friend Christopher, his Nana and Whoop and Bill ‘Barn’ Teasdale today at 3:27 p.m. He was surrounded by Cait, Greg, me and his sister Jane all while ‘I’ve Got a Dream’ by Disney played in the background. The floating lanterns are adrift. He is at peace … and we are surrounded by his love. Thanks everyone. ‘With every passing hour, I’m so glad I left my tower … I’ve got a dream.'”
Tim will be cremated. “There are a few places he wanted to be spread,” Greg said. “A lot of special places that mean a lot to the family,” added Cait.
In addition to Michele, Cait, Greg, and Jane, Tim is survived by his father, Clem, his brother-in-law, niece and nephew, and countless friends.
Calling hours will be Monday, Aug. 7, from 4-8 p.m. at Sheehan Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave., West Hartford. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Church of St. Peter Claver, 47 Pleasant St., West Hartford. Attendees should go straight to the church.
Afterwards there are plans for a party. Tim had told Michele: “You need to celebrate our lives together.” He said he wanted people to leave with a smile.
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