Plainville, MA — Daniel Tuccillo, 78, of Prospect, Conn., died peacefully surrounded by his loving family at the Vitas unit of St. Mary’s Hospital.
Mr. Tuccillo was born April 20, 1941, in Waterbury, Conn., a son of the late Ralph R. and Aurelie (Hamel) Tuccillo. He graduated from high school and went on to establish General Borings, Inc. of Prospect, Conn., and married the love of his life, Helen (Doner).
When he wasn’t earning a living running his business, Mr. Tuccillo loved harness racing. He was first exposed to the sport at Green Mountain Park in 1970 and eventually started working for several trainers at Rockingham Park and Hinsdale Raceway in 1972, learning the business. By 1976 he got his driver’s license and started to compete at tracks all over New England.
With the help of his wife and son Dan Jr., Mr. Tuccillo built a small but competitive stable and competed successfully for many years. He even trained the 1984 Massachusetts Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing filly of the year Wynn’s Mabel By.
Mr. Tuccillo retired from full time racing in the mid-1990s but when Plainridge Park opened in 1999, an amateur driving club was formed and he couldn’t wait to get back in and compete. As a charter member of the New England Amateur Harness Driver’s Club, Mr. Tuccillo campaigned several horses each year including right until the time of his passing.
During his career, Mr. Tuccillo won 199 races and $504,471 in purses. As a trainer he won another 66 races and $219,689 in winnings. He won his final race on June 27 at the age of 78 when he drove Steal My Thunder to a 1-1/4 length victory at Plainridge Park in 1:56.1 and paid $81.60.
Aside from racing his horses, Mr. Tuccillo’s greatest joy was his family, and their memories of time spent with him at the lake will always be treasured.
Mr. Tuccillo will be forever missed by his wife of 57 years, Helen; son, Daniel; daughter, Bernadette Casson; grandchildren, Nicholas, Christina, Alyssa Casson and Brittney Casson; brother, Ralph (Margaret); brother-in-law, Joseph Doner; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends that he treated as family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 14) at St. Anthony’s Church, 4 Union City Rd., Prospect, CT with burial to immediately follow in Prospect Cemetery, 1 Union City Rd., Prospect, CT. Calling hours will be held Tuesday (Aug. 13) from 5-8 p.m. at Prospect Memorial Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Rd., Prospect, CT.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Hole in the Wall Gang, 565 Ashford Center Rd., Ashford, CT 06278.
For directions and online condolences please visit www.prospectmemorial.com.