He was born Sept. 12, 1933, in Danbury, the son of Erziario and Florence Simonelli. He graduated from Danbury High School in 1951 and from Western Connecticut State University, then known as Danbury State Teachers College, in 1955.
Mr. Simonelli served in the Army from 1955-58.
He received a master's degree from Fairfield University in 1960 and a sixth-year certificate in 1965.
Mr. Simonelli was a teacher at Hayestown School in Danbury. In 1958, he went to Mill Ridge School when it opened, and later became principal and was involved in the opening of the primary school in 1974. He ended his 38-year career in education in Danbury as principal at Park Avenue School in 1994.
Mr. Simonelli was known to have a huge heart and for helping others.
In addition, he was a member of the Top Hat Volunteers and Northern Fairfield County Retired Teachers Association. He was the recipient of the annual civic award from the Amerigo Vespucci Lodge in 1991 and the Old Timer's Sports Award in 1992.
He enjoyed all sports, was an avid golfer, and was a longtime fan of Army Black Knights football.
In addition to his wife of 55 years, Mr. Simonelli is survived by his children, Susan Johnson, and her husband, Carl; Ed Simonelli, and his wife, Sandi; Linda Spaziani, and her husband, Domenic; and Jill Simonelli, of Danbury; five grandchildren, Michael and James Simonelli, Amanda and Catherine Johnson, and Anthony Spaziani, of Danbury; a great-grandson, Andrew, of Danbury; a brother, Dr. Joseph M. Simonelli, of Danbury; a sister, Flora Y. Fiandra, of New Milford; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by a brother, Ted Simonelli.
Burial with military honors was at St. Peter Cemetery, Danbury
The Green Funeral Home in Danbury was in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Robert F. Simonelli scholarship fund, care of Danbury High School, 43 Clapboard Ridge Road, Danbury CT 06811, or to the charity of one's choice.