Sunday, September 20, 2020

Person of the Week

Patricia Buonpane: A Mainstay of North Haven


Among her many community commitments, Pat Buonpane leads tours for the North Haven Historical Society. 

File photo by Jessica Smith/The Courier

Among her many community commitments, Pat Buonpane leads tours for the North Haven Historical Society. (File photo by Jessica Smith/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

Pat Buonpane defines herself as a talker.

“I’ll have a conversation with anyone,” says Pat. “I especially love talking about my hometown of North Haven. It’s a great place, and a wonderful community that has an outstanding educational system and people here are very down to earth and welcoming to others.”

Pat should know, she was born on Broadway in what, at the time, was the largest brick house in town. It was a sprawling, three-family home that has since been knocked down to make way for the I-91 through pass through town.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes in town,” says Pat, who has been a dedicated member of the North Haven Historical Society for more than a decade. “There has been a lot of growth here and a lot of development. When I was a kid, and we lived near the center of town, we used to walk everywhere. That’s not how it is now. I still live in a beautiful part of town, surrounded by the schools, which is nice, but it has gotten busy in North Haven.”

As someone who was born in, grew up in, raised her family in, and still lives in North Haven, Pat says that it was only recently she realized she didn’t know everyone in town.

“I attended a farm to table dinner in town, which was beautiful and very well attended, but I noticed I didn’t know everyone there, which would never have happened a few years. My friends were asking me who people were and I said I didn’t know and they were amazed,” Pat says, laughing.

In addition to the historical society, Pat is also a devoted member of the North Haven Land Trust and the North Haven Education Foundation.

“I feel that if you are going to be a part of a community you need to participate in it and volunteer,” says Pat, who has three grown children and six grandchildren.

He son lives in North Carolina and both her daughters live in Connecticut, one in New Haven and the other in Wallingford.

Pat, who once worked as a dental assistant in town, now says her biggest job is driving her grandkids to different events and practices, taking them shopping and cooking traditional favorites for the holidays such as Easter Pies.

A lifetime member of St. Barnabas Church, Pat says she stays busy while helping out different organizations in town and spending time with friends and family.

“I do what I can now. I love to be active when I can and helping to preserve the history and beauty of North Haven is one way I do,” she says. “I am always working on something with the historical society and I’m involved with the land trust because its important to me to help preserve the land here, which was once filled with farms.”

She adds, “The history of the town is very interesting, at one time there were 14 different brick builders in town, most of which were Italians because they were familiar with working with brick in Italy, so when they came to America looking for work, this is where they settled because this is were the work was. I love learning about all that and passing on that information so people know the history of what made North Haven.”

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