Aldo J. Tiboni
Aldo F. Tiboni is saddened by the loss of one of his oldest and dearest friends, who just happened to be his dad, Aldo J. Tiboni. Born of Italian immigrants on March 19, 1924, Aldo J was typical of his time having been born in Adams, Massachusetts, moving to Springfield in his youth and spending summers working on his uncle’s dairy farm in Agawam. He told many stories of those summers on the farm.
As a 19-year-old, he was drafted into the Navy’s Construction Battalion and was shipped off to England where he acquired a taste for fish and chips and, of all things, fried chicken. He always boasted that the Seabees had the best cooks in the Navy. And like most WWII vets, he was proud to have served.
Aldo was a talented artist who in 1949 headed off to Boston to spend 5 years, including one as a grad student, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Happily, while at the MFA, his dear friend and brother, John was in school across the river in Cambridge. There they would hang out with each other and with their mutual friends and make frequent trips home in Aldo’s straight eight Pontiac. Not only was he happy to have his brother close by, but MIT had plenty of parking so that is where the Pontiac lived during those years!
In 1956 he met Flora Theresa Circosta, fell in love, and got married the following year. When she passed in 2004 and he talked about their meeting he would say that “she was beautiful.” They had a son in 1959. The transition to family life was not without sacrifice, as his dream of a career in art was permanently put aside so that he could support his family, something that earned him a chit that could never be repaid.
Aldo took what he learned in the Seabees and put it to work as a proud union ironworker, mostly as a loyal member of Local 357 in Springfield which became a part of Local 7 of Boston where he was a member until he died. He had a hand in many of the buildings that dot western Massachusetts, in fact if you glance at downtown Springfield as you drive Interstate 91, you will see a few of them.
Aldo and John were dear friends who always spent time together. The list of projects they tackled ranged from building a house, making countless vintages of both red and white wines, and attempting to grow their own private vineyard, which ended up feeding the birds! They rarely missed having Sunday dinner together at which just about everything went well with polenta. Ultimately, they sold their individual houses in Wilbraham and West Springfield to move-in together in Florence, near Aldo F and his wife Elaine. Of course, John was with him as the end approached that morning of May 13.
Over the last decade of his life Aldo had acquired a full complement of physicians, in fact his family joked the only “ologist” he did not have was a gynecologist. He had real confidence in them and would often say “You know, I have some great doctors.” A special shout out goes to Laura Gioiella, his decades long GP whose care and skill was a key to his 97 years, David Serlin his pulmonologist and his cardiologist Kyle Richards, both extremely capable docs and whose offices he always walked out of with confidence about his future, and Priscilla Merriam, his oncologist and everyone at Dana Farber who turned what was once a death sentence into something he died with and not of. One last thanks to all of you from him.
One of Aldo F’s friends recently wrote that Aldo J “put the gentle in gentleman.” That is a fact. By his example, Aldo never stopped teaching those around him about humility, compassion, and courage. He proved his toughness every day as he faced his multiple health challenges with only the occasional complaint. Until the end Aldo F made sure that Aldo J knew that those around him were learning from him still.
The good news is that when the end came, he was holding the hand of one of his dearest friends, who just happened to be his son. Goodbye old friend.
Aldo’s family suggests that donations may be made in his memory to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute by clicking on the “Give Now” button here: https://www.dana-farber.org/, or to the Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice at https://giving.cooleydickinson.org/.