Benjamin (Ben) Picci
September 5, 1923 ~ October 7, 2016
Benjamin (Ben) Picci, age 93, of Norwalk passed away peacefully on October 7, 2016. Ben was born on September 5, 1923 in Philadelphia, PA to Rafael and Nunzita (Maisano) Picci. He attended Norwalk Public Schools and remained a resident of the city for 93 years. It was in Norwalk he met his future wife, Virginia (Conte) Picci, the love of his life. Ben and Virginia were blessed to share 71 years of marriage together.
In 1938, Ben began learning the art of barbering from his uncle, Frank Maisano, who owned a barber shop in South Norwalk. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army and served as a Staff Sergeant with the 3944th signal message detachment in the Philippines. During his service, Ben not only had the honor of meeting General MacArthur, but ultimately gave him a haircut! Ben was honorably discharged in 1946 and came back to the States with several decorations and citations – a victory medal, good conduct medal, American theater campaign ribbon, Asiatic Pacific theater campaign ribbon, and a Philippine liberation ribbon with one bronze service star.
Waiting for his return, was Virginia, whom he had married in 1944. Ben returned to barbering and opened City Hall Barber Shop and then The Executive House with his brother in law, Frank Conte. He continued working as a barber at the East Avenue location, long after selling his business. He retired after 77 years, in the fall of 2015.
Aside from his distinguished military service and career in barbering, Ben was most importantly, a family man. He and Virginia raised three children and also served as foster parents for over 42 years. Ben was an avid NY Giants and NY Yankees fan. He delighted in spending time with his family; watching his great grandchildren play together, sharing an Italian Christmas Eve meal with everyone, or just listening to his wife tells stories of their courtship.
Ben is survived by his wife, Virginia (Conte) Picci; sons Gary (Kathleen) and Mark (Alison) Picci, foster daughter MaryAnn Conlan, her children, and several nieces and nephews. He was pre deceased by his daughter, Maria Michele (Missy) Picci. Ben also leaves his five grandchildren and their spouses, Elizabeth (Nicholas) Esposito, Garrett (Carolyn) Picci, Jennifer (Matthew) Prokop, Travis and Justis Picci. He was also loved and adored by his six great grandchildren, Luca, Jaxon, and Cara Esposito, Ella and Andrew Picci, and Eleanor (Nora) Prokop.
Friends may call on Wednesday, October 12, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike #420, Rockville, MD 20850 (fisherhouse.org) or Army Emergency Relief (aerhq.org)