Matthew Barberi, age 97, of Hamden, passed away on June 14, 2014. He was the husband of 72 years to Maryhannah Slingerland Barberi. Born in New Haven on November 12, 1916, he was the son of the late Pasquale and Amelia Ulizio Barbieri. He is the father of Robert (Margarita) Barberi of Weston, CT, Richard (Georgia) Barberi of Great Barrington, MA, Susan (Robert) Montgomery of Westport Point, MA, Marnie (Donald) MacLean of Ancram, NY, and Tom (Ellen) Barberi of Ridgefield, CT; Grandfather of Ian (Klaudia) Barberi, Krin (Dan Carhart) Barberi, Lila (Alex) Hochron, Rose MacLean, Robert Jr., Jeffery, and Susan Barberi, Elizabeth Frishkoff, and Dr. Robert Oelhof; Great-grandfather of Noah and Miriam Hochron, Sonia, Veronika, and Amelia Barberi, Carl and Eric Oelhof, and Melissa and David Frishkoff. A graduate of West Haven High School and Arnold College with a B.S. in 1938, he also received a Master's Degree from New York University and a 6th year certification from Yale University. Matthew served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a Commanding Officer of a minesweeper in the South Pacific. As a Health and Physical Education educator, he taught at the Children's Center, Prince St. School, and Sheridan Junior High School before joining the Hamden school system in 1947. He retired in 1981 as the Director of Health and Physical Education. His professional activities were many: serving as President for several organizations, including the Hamden Education Association, the Association of Hamden Public School Administrators, the CT Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and the CT Association of Administrators of Health and Physical Education. He also served on the Governor's Fitness Committee, the Safety Committee of Hamden, the curriculum department of the State Dept. of Education, and as an instructor for the American Red Cross. He published articles in 'The Bulletin' and 'The Journal of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation,' and was the recipient of many professional awards. He participated in some of the important advances in public education, including establishing the first women's varsity and junior high athletics teams in Hamden and developing the first sex education curriculum in the state of Connecticut. Matthew also served as an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University and, for many years after his retirement from the Hamden public schools, as an Associate Dean at SCSU. Funeral from BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden on Wednesday, June 18th at 10:15 AM with a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Rita's Church, Hamden, at 11:00 AM. Friends may also visit with his family at the funeral home on Tuesday, June 17th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Burial with Military Honors will take place in St. Lawrence Cemetery, West Haven. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to St. Rita's Church, 1620 Whitney Ave., Hamden, CT 06517, or to Doctors Without Borders, 333 7th Ave., New York, NY 10001.

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  1. Dear Susan, My condolences on the death of your father. I was glad to read about him and to learn that he led a full and meaningful life. In sympathy, Sincerely, Sheila Puffer

  2. My deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Barberi. He was my teacher in Hamden in 1955. I will always remember an incident where Mr. Barberi saved the life of a distraught student. The student ran off school grounds and started to climb one the very tall W.E.L.I. radio towers. Mr. Barberi saw what was happening and reacted immediately by running to the tower and climbing up after the student, at great risk to himself. Mr. Barberi managed to safely bring the kid down. As a 13 year old kid I was greatly impressed by Mr. Barberi’s heroism. I will always think of Matthew Barberi as a hero and a gentle man.

  3. My life would not be what it is, if not for Matt and Maryhannah. I will always picture my neighbor, my friend, sitting in his wood slat folding chair in his backyard, letting the sun warm his face, commenting on either what I was growing or what he planned to grow at the farm. Matt, the seeds you tended to are flourishing everywhere.

  4. Our thoughts and love are with Susan and Bob and the whole Barberi clan as you gather to say farewell to the dad and grand-dad and great grand-dad you all love so much. With much love, Lael and Jon

  5. Such a special, kind gentleman. Matty accomplished so much in his time on earth and was so humble about his achievements. He will be missed by the Ulizio family.

  6. Susan, Thank you for your friendship at NUSL. I offer my sympathy and best wishes to you and your family as you deal with the loss of your father.

  7. We are all just thinking of you guys and our love and thoughts are with you. Matty was a one of kind! Nan Slingerland. Lee & Jeff horswill

  8. What an amazing life–an inspiration to us all. And his life is evident in his children and grandchildren. Much love to you all.

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