Victor H. Galanto, Middlefield's Ageless Resident, Dies at Age 100

Known to many as "Banana Man," Middletown native spent his latter years volunteering at Middlesex Health Care Center.


Victor H. Galanto, 100, husband of the late Dorothy (Giannotti) Galanto left this world on Monday, Dec. 5 at the Middlesex Health Care Center. He was born on May 5, 1911 in Middletown, and was the son of the late James and Antoinette (Lisi) Galanto. After he retired, he made his home on Lake Shore Drive in Middlefield. He was also a lifetime member of the Elks.

Victor leaves two daughters, Barbara Watson, of Middletown and Diana Jakiela, of Meriden; a granddaughter, Debra Pellegrini and her husband, Michael; two great-grandsons, Keith Lutecki and Michael Pellegrini; also a great-great-grandson, Evan Lutecki; two brothers, Joseph Galanto and John and wife, Emily Galanto and also many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy and son-in-law Richard (Jake) Jakiela; brothers, James (Huck) and Anthony (Jake) Galanto; two sisters, Lucy Winzer and Mary Kruger; three half-sisters, Rose Ciaburri, Anna Natale, and Mae Descanio and a half-brother, Fred Galanto.

Victor was an owner and operator of Vic Galanto Wholesale Tobacco, Candy, and Vending Machines since the mid 1940's until his retirement. After retiring, he worked along with his older brother, James, at the North End News and Soda Shop.

In his later years, he began to volunteer at the Middlesex Health Care Center where he was known as the "Banana Man." Each week he would provide bananas to the residents at the center. As a volunteer for over 20 years, the center held a . During the celebration he received several proclamations, proclaiming May 5, 2011 in Middlefield, an official citation from the General Assembly State of Connecticut, and the City of Middletown proclaiming May 6 as Victor Galanto Day.
We would like to especially thank Chris Gaudino and Ray Stone for the kindness shown to our father over the past year. Thank you to the staff at Middlesex Health Care Center and nurse Susan Haswell and administrator Cheryl Kelly for their support during our Dad's short illness.

The funeral will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. from the Coughlin-Lastrina Funeral Home, 491 High St., Middletown, followed by a mass of Christian Burial in St. John's Church, Middletown at 10 a.m. Burial will be in the family plot in St. John's Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Those who wish may make memorial contributions to St. Jude's, PO Box 50, Memphis, TN 38105.

Earlier this year, on May 5th, Patch dedicated our coverage to Victor Galanto as the Lake Beseck resident turned 100. His friends and neighbors paid tribute to Vic .

Donna Golub December 07, 2011 at 08:02 PM
So sorry to hear of his passing, he was a very special man.
Ellen Waff December 07, 2011 at 09:35 PM
He was a sweetheart! Wishing him godspeed on his journey.......
Lucy Petrella December 08, 2011 at 01:48 AM
I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Victor this past October. We had a wonderful visit and he delighted in sharing all his memorabilia from his 100th birthday. I am saddened to hear of his passing, but he has now been reunited with his wife and family. No doubt he's sharing all his adventures since they were separated. God Bless you, Victor. Rest in peace in the arms of your creator.


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