Constantin Radulescu (“Costica” – by his Romanian friends and relatives), 74, one-of-a-kind husband, father, and brother, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on September 8th, 2014.  Since receiving his diagnosis of Glioblastoma multiforme, one year ago, Constantin continued to live by his own motto of “Life’s a fight, so go fight!”  In true Constantin fashion, he fought a valiant battle; he never once complained and his tenacity propelled him and his loved ones through his most difficult days.  Constantin will be deeply missed by his wife of 40 years, Georgeta (“Geti”) Radulescu – his “Porumbita” or “Dove;” his daughter Alina  and her husband Costel Dobrita; his son Radu Radulescu and his girlfriend Nina Stone; his granddaughter Ana Dobrita, all of CT; and his numerous brothers and sisters, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews in Romania.  He will forever remain “The Champion” of his family, friends, and community. 

Constantin was born in 1940 in Fratila, a small country village in Romania.  Exactly because of his love for his impoverished family and birth place, and as the oldest son in a line of fourteen children, he left his village for the nearest largest town, Craiova, to pursue his education and seek better opportunities for himself and his family.  He eventually made it to the capital, where he received a Master’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from “Facultatea de Cai Ferate, Drumuri si Poduri Bucuresti,” the oldest and most prestigious engineering school in Romania.  Upon graduation, he was recruited to serve as a project manager during the construction of one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in Romania.  His engineering career entered a spectacularly ascending path with his nomination as one of a group of 20 professionals to design and execute the construction of the first subway system in Bucharest.  His family recalls him traveling throughout Europe for his extensive training, and bringing home interesting gifts and exotic fruits, such as a never-seen-before whole pineapple from Paris.  After they discovered that the outer shell was not edible, the fruit became quite a staple for the family. Constantin proudly held his position as the Chief Energy Engineer of the Bucharest subway system for 18 years before moving to America.

It was of great importance to Constantin for his children to further their educations in America.  He retired from his esteemed position as an engineer in Romania to start his and his family’s American dream  in a relative’s flooded basement while concurrently holding positions at a local Dunkin Donuts and the Omni Hotel in New Haven to help pay for tuition.  Through the recommendation of his close friends, the Pecora family, Constantin secured a position as the Property Manager of the High Lane Club (HLC) in North Haven, where he lived on-site.  Constantin spared no detail while caring for the HLC, always leaving the grounds in impeccable condition.  He took great pride in ensuring that the members were happy and comfortable.  The HLC became Constantin’s home, and its members became his family.  The summer  seasons at HLC gave him the most joy, when he enjoyed planting and tending to flowers organically, much to the chagrin of his assistant, his wife, keen on using time-saving fertilizers.  Most of all, he cherished watching the children and their families relax at HLC, whom he called all his “champions,” in a thick French-English hybrid accent, guaranteed to brighten one’s day.  Constantin proudly served the HLC for 14 years, including after his diagnosis and during treatment.  His dedication to the HLC and its members never wavered, and he was grateful to live out his last days in his first real “home” in America.  He LOVED the HLC.

Becoming a US citizen represented one of Constantin’s most treasured personal achievements.  He frequently joked that his is only sorrow was that he could never become the next president of the United States because of the natural-born-citizen clause to become president.

Constantin’s hobbies included dancing, singing off-key personal iterations of famous classical or children folk lyrics, such as “O sole mio…” or “Ala-bala portocala…” and making his “special” Brandy (“Visinata”), using prune white alcohol and sour cherry syrup, which could easily be confused with Nyquil, and had a potency which surely must have been considered illegal. He enjoyed the festivities of Easter, but maybe in part because he would get to enjoy Geti’s traditional sweet bread, “cozanac,” only during this time.  He had a knack for fixing anything and everything and advertised himself as such, expressing “I am Constantin; I can fix anything!” while cartoonishly inflating his chest for an unsuccessfully funny impersonation of Superman.  He always wore an apron overflowing with tools and carried a toolbox filled with everything from simple tie straps to a sophisticated voltmeter.  He was a jack of all trades, master of savings.  He had the gift of improvising the most creative and cost-saving solutions to maintaining the HLC club house, a historical 1930 building. 

Those who knew Constantin will miss his vivacity, his humor, his gentle and unassuming nature, his willingness to help with a smile, his eternal good mood, magnetic personality, and remember Constantin leading people in life by his own example of perseverance. He lived to support and cheer, and infuse his strength into those around him. Just as a marathon supporter, he was always on the sidelines, pushing and encouraging his loved ones, friends, and even enemies, to push themselves until the finish line.  As such, the best way for us to honor Constantin’s memory is by not focusing on him but focusing on ourselves.  Always striving to give our best, and being the Champions of our own lives, is what he would have wanted of all of us.

Although Constantin had a special place in his heart for America and the life he created here, he truly loved his home land.  His final wish was to be buried in Craiova, Romania, a town where he happily spent his young years and where much of his family still remains.

The visiting hours will be Friday, September 12th, 2014 from 4 to 7 pm at the North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue, North Haven with a prayer service to be conducted at 6:30 pm.  In keeping with Constantin’s practical nature, the family will omit flowers from his services.