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Obituary: Ernest 'Ernie' Puglise, Age 63

Stratford native's love of the arts, in all of its forms, was part of his DNA.

Ernest "Ernie" Lawrence Puglise age 63 of Milford passed away suddenly on October 28, 2012. Ernie was born in 1949 in Bridgeport to the late Thomas Puglise and Lucille Verrilli Puglise, the second of their three children.

He grew up in Stratford, Conn. and attended Bunnell High School. Following high school, he graduated from Boston University with a degree in Music Education in 1971.

Ernie's love of the arts, in all of its forms, was part of his DNA. He began serious study of the piano when he was just five years of age. At seven, he attended the American Shakespeare Festival Academy, studying acting and fencing. At the age of nine, he played the role of Mustardseed in the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre's production of Midsummer Night's Dream, starring June Havoc.

Throughout his high school and college careers, he played the piano both as an accompanist to musical theater productions and as a solo performer. During college, he also performed with fellow music students in a rock band.

After college, Ernie poured his talent into teaching others. He directed the Middle School Choral Arts Program for the Newtown Public School system, gave private piano and guitar lessons, and directed all of the middle school’s musical productions.

For seventeen years, he continued his connection to the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre, working summers as one of its box office managers.

Ernie's other great passion was his love of family. He was especially devoted to his parents, caring for them in the last years of their lives. Having no children of his own, he developed a special bond with his youngest nieces. He was enormously proud of them and cherished them deeply.

Ernie was also an amazing chef. Nothing gave him greater joy than serving his friends and family his famous lasagna and meatballs.

Ernie also especially loved his home by the sea. He was meticulous in caring for it, and he was generous in hosting many good times there with his family and friends, sharing his dream and celebrating life. It is with this place, surrounded by the music of the sea, that he will be remembered and loved.

Ernie is survived by his brother, Thomas Puglise of Spring Branch, Texas; his sister and brother-in-law, Kathi and Thomas Loughlin of Washington, DC; his nieces Kimberly Puglise, Nora Loughlin, and Hannah Loughlin; and, his nephews Brian Puglise and Bryan Whalen Puglise.

A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family in mid-December. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Galello-Luchansky Funeral Home 2220 Main Street Stratford.

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