Michael “Mike” Salonia, 71, of Cromwell, CT, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family and beloved dog on April 4, 2023 after an almost ten year battle with prostate cancer. Mike was born, the second of four boys, to Rosario and Rose (Smith) in Norwich, CT on July 18, 1951. He spent his childhood in Hartford and Newington, CT, graduating from Newington High School in 1970. He went on to earn a degree in business and marketing from Central Connecticut State University in 1975 and worked for many years in retail management. Mike married his wife Lori (Sobczak) in 1976 and moved to Cromwell in 1978, where he would spend the remainder of his life. He was an incredible father to his two children, Michael and Beth. They will both forever cherish fond memories of their dad chaperoning school field trips, taking them on family vacations, and teaching them to beat The Legend of Zelda on NES, all while simultaneously capturing hundreds of hours of their most awkward moments on VHS tapes. For many years, in his spare time, Mike enjoyed playing basketball with his group of friends “The Dirty Dozen.” Over time, their preferred game transitioned to golf, as they needed something a little easier on the knees. In 2009, Mike started a family tradition of participating in the Manchester Road Race every Thanksgiving. His goal was to “really run it” just once, which he accomplished in 2012, crossing the finish line in a respectable 48:47. Mike and Lori enjoyed many road-trips to Cape Cod in his Dodge Charger. He was notoriously a great storyteller and really knew how to effortlessly crack jokes to get the whole room laughing. Mike could make friends with almost anyone, almost anywhere, including just waiting in line for a Maine baked potato at the Big E. His goofy spirit, generosity, and kindness will certainly be missed.
Mike is survived by his wife and children, his daughter-in-law Marci, his faithful dog Dakota, his brothers Ross (Priscilla), James (Lisa), and Brian, his uncle “Sonny,” and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He is predeceased by his parents and in-laws (Charles and Marjorie Sobczak), and his golden retrievers Sam, Tommy, and Terry.
Calling hours will be held at Cromwell Funeral Home, 506 Main Street, Cromwell, CT on Monday April 10 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. A funeral service will be held at the same location on Tuesday April 11 at 10:00 am, burial to follow in Cromwell Hillside Cemetery West. Mike was an animal lover who had rescued three dogs over the last twenty years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Mike’s memory to ASPCA @ (www.aspca.org). To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
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