AMerican Veteran 13

Bernard ("Ben") Edward Ciolfi

August 5, 1925 ~ February 27, 2022 (age 96)

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Bernard (“Ben”) Edward Ciolfi, 96, died peacefully in Wolfeboro, NH on February 27, 2022, surrounded by his children and long-time partner, Bonnie Fuller.  He was a resident of Taylor Retirement Community at Sugar Hill.

Ben was born August 5, 1925, in Providence, RI to Bernardo and Anna (Fera) Ciolfi, the third of five children. He was predeceased by his sisters Ida Esposito, Ann DiIorio, Mary Giglio, and brother Raymond. His younger sister, Mafalda (“Muffy”) DiOrio, resides in Westerly, RI.  

Ben graduated from Providence High School and enlisted in the Army Air Forces at the age of 18 in 1943. He served as a nose gunner in the 736th Bomb Squadron of the 454th Bombardment Group, based at the San Giovanni Airfield in Foggia, Italy. With his crew, he flew thirty-five strategic missions in B-24 Liberator planes to bomb bridges, rail lines, marshalling yards, airfields, munition and industrial factories, harbors and oil refineries in Nazi Germany. The Group earned two Distinguished Unit citations and Ben earned three Air Medals for Meritorious Achievement while Participating in Aerial Flight.  He attained the rank of technical sergeant.

After the war, Ben attended the University of Rhode Island on the GI Bill, and earned a BS in mechanical engineering. While there, he met his future wife, Anita Louise Pastore. They married in 1950 and had four children, one of whom, Bernadette Emelia Ciolfi Nydegger, predeceased them, in 1996. Anita died in 2002. Upon graduation, Ben began an extensive career in the jet engine division of General Electric, in Lynn, MA, from which he retired in 1986.

Ben and Anita raised their children in Danvers, MA and later moved to the former Turkey Ridge Farm site in Tuftonboro, NH, from which he commuted four hours each day to and from Lynn, MA for several years in an extraordinary show of commitment. Ben and Anita later moved to Barrington and Hampton, NH before moving to Florida upon Ben’s retirement in 1986. After Anita’s death, Ben returned to NH to live year-round.

In addition to being a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Ben was an accomplished gardener and repair person. He deployed his engineering skills throughout the household and beyond, fixing and repairing in his inimitable style. In 1963, Ben and Anita purchased property on Melody Island on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, beginning an enduring relationship with “the lake” that his family continues to enjoy to this day. During his lengthy retirement, Ben also played a great deal of golf and bridge. Throughout his life, Ben was a practicing Catholic, attending weekly Mass until unable to do so just a few years ago.

In 2004, Ben met Bonnie, a Wolfeboro native, and the two of them began a loving partnership that continued to his death. Ben and Bonnie enjoyed summers on Melody Island and improved their respective golf handicaps while wintering in Ft. Myers, FL for several years. Despite his best effort, Ben was never a match for Bonnie on the links.

In addition to Bonnie, Ben is survived by his three children, David Anthony Ciolfi, Monica Ann Ciolfi both of Concord, NH, and Mary Lou Ciolfi, of Bath Maine, along with their respective spouses and partners, ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church in Alton, NH on May 21, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.  The interment will take place at a later date in Bath, ME, where Anita and Bernadette are buried.

Condolences can be expressed online at Lord Funeral Home. Memorial donations can be made to the maintenance of the Stations of the Cross outdoor garden at St. Katharine’s Church. 

Ben’s family extends its warmest, special thanks to Bonnie and the entire team at Sugar Hill Retirement Community, who both supported Ben and enriched his final years in countless and invaluable ways. 



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bernard ("Ben"), please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
May 21, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church (Alton)

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