SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Thomas P. Battista Sr., 80, passed away Monday, May 10, 2021 surrounded by his loving family. He was born Oct. 25, 1940 in Bristol, Conn., the son of Antonio and Frances (Giovino) Battista.
He graduated from New Britain High School in New Britain, Conn., and later graduated from the Hartt College of Music at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn. He also attended music classes at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., the University of Southern Maine, and at Dartmouth College.
On June 26, 1965, he married Teresa Calvo at St. Mary’s Church in New Britain, Conn.
Mr. Battista taught music in Connecticut for 17 years, moving to Springfield in 1980 to become the chorale director at Riverside Middle School and Springfield High School for 22 years. As choral director, he organized many concerts and festivals at local, district, and state levels. Over the years, he brought many guest musicians into the schools, and hosted the All-State Music Festival in 1996. He was also instrumental in creating the Springfield High School Madrigal Singers. Under his leadership, students participated in district, state, and All New England Music Festivals, exchange concerts, and numerous high school musicals. Mr. Battista was named as an Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1982, and named Outstanding Music Educator for the Vermont District 1999-2000. Mr. Battista retired from Riverside Middle School and Springfield High School in 2003, and then continued part-time at Elm Hill Elementary School until 2007. He was also choir director at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for many years, and later choir director at the Congregational Church in Claremont, N.H. for several years.
He was an avid Yankees fan, pizza lover, enjoyed Maine beach visits, attending community band concerts, going to car shows – he once owned a ’69 Mach I Mustang that brought him much joy (he did sell it) but has great memories – and of course enjoying time spent being with his family and grandkids.
He is survived by his wife Teresa, son Thomas P. Battista and his wife Jennifer, daughter Donna Battista-Young and her husband Steven, grandchildren Antonio, Emilia, and Connor, all of Springfield. He was predeceased by his parents and one brother Frank.
A memorial mass will be celebrated Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Springfield. Reverend Peter Williams will officiate. Masks and social distancing are required. The service will also be live streamed. Visitation will be held following the Mass from 12-2 p.m. at the Nolan-Murray Parish Center.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Springfield High School Music Department, 303 South St, Springfield, VT 05156. Davis Memorial Chapel is assisting with arrangements.