Judge Arthur L. Spada, 85, died on April 26, 2018. He was born on September 22, 1932, the third child of recently arrived immigrant parents from Italy, Frank and Mary (Curcio) Spada. He was the beloved husband of Nancy (Saunders) Spada, a marriage that prospered for 62 years and produced three children and five grandchildren. The Judge and his wife were Hartford residents for many years. He spent his final years as a Farmington resident. His surviving children are: Katherine Spada Basto of Portland, Kristen Anne Spada of Seattle, WA and Arthur Spada of West Hartford. His adored grandchildren are: Gifford Spada, Cameron Spada, Quinn Spada, Sage Spada and Anika Spada of West Hartford. He also leaves a son-in-law, Ronald Basto; a daughter-in-law, Carissa Spada; a sister, Lucy Spada Santoro of Wethersfield and a sister-in-law, Lucia Poppalardo Spada of Simsbury, along with seven nieces and nephews. The Judge was predeceased by an elder brother, Joseph Spada of Simsbury. The Judge was born on the East Side barrio of old Front St. in Hartford. He graduated from Hartford Public High, where he was a member of the National Honor Society. Receiving the Louis Fox scholarship, he graduated in 1954 with high honors from Wesleyan University. He then attended his first year of law school at the University of Chicago and completed his Juris Doctor in 1957 from the University of Connecticut School of Law. At Wesleyan, he Co-Captained the Wesleyan football team in his senior year and was awarded the Bacon Trophy, emblematic of the 1953 most valuable player. He was inducted into the North American Football Hall of Fame, named to the 1953 Look Magazine's first team, "Little All American," and elected in 2009 to the Hartford Public High School Hall of Fame. The Judge practiced law in the City of Hartford for twenty years; during that time he completed a four-year term as a Hartford Assistant Corporation Trial Attorney. In 1977, Governor Ella Grasso appointed him to the Superior Court. He adjudicated civil disputes for ten years and presided over major criminal cases during his final thirteen years. The Judge conducted a major grand jury investigating local police corruption and abuses of the welfare system. On June 1, 2000, Governor John Rowland appointed Judge Spada Commissioner of Public Safety, where he served for four years. Commissioner Spada loved working with all of the Connecticut State Police .Connecticut's finest. The Judge was involved in many Hartford community activities. He served with gratitude on the Hartford Hospital Board of Incorporators for thirty-five years. He was honored in 2001 when the Hartford City Council named a South End Park roadway, "The Spada Way." He was appointed by Chief Justice Speziale as Connecticut's first Housing Court Judge. Judge Spada often proudly stated that under the Housing Court, no family and its personal belongings would ever be forcibly ejected on the public streets. The Judge, with his wife, traveled extensively. They enjoyed their trips to Italy, Russia, and a myriad of other fascinating countries. He and his family skied many Vermont winters from their Londonderry, VT vacation home and enjoyed the summer months in Old Lyme, at White Sands Beach. His passionate hobbies were flying an airplane, boating, running and golfing with his close friends twice a week. He was an avid reader who enjoyed reading books about history and philosophy. He loved to walk each Friday morning with friends at the Reservoir 6. He also enjoyed spending time on Franklin Avenue, where he and boyhood friends exchanged stories of growing up on Old Front Street. The Judge was a tireless worker, trimming bushes, cutting grass, raking and working around the house well into his eighties. Recently the Judge's ancestry genetic testing revealed that he was 10% Jewish. When informed, he turned jokingly to his family and said, "I always knew I was somehow related to Dr. Albert Einstein." Calling hours will be Wednesday, May 2 from 3-7 p.m. at the D'Esopo Funeral Chapel, 277 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, May 3 at 10 a.m. at St. Mark the Evangelist Church Campus a member church of St. Gianna Parish, 467 Quaker Lane, West Hartford. Everyone is asked to please go directly to the church. The burial with military honors will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the House of Bread, 27 Chestnut St, Hartford, CT 06120. To share a memory of the Judge with his family, please visit www.desopo.com.
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