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Obituary: Michael Seri, Former Town Clerk

Michael Seri, the former town clerk and master of ceremonies, who died in Danbury on Friday at age 90.
Michael Seri, the former town clerk and master of ceremonies, who died in Danbury on Friday at age 90.

Michael Rocco “Tweezer” Seri, a long time Danbury resident and former Town Clerk for 24 years, passed away January 17, 2014 in the loving embrace of his wife Patricia and his children, grandchildren and great grandchild. 

Born in 1923 to Cesare and Rose (Ross) Seri, he was the third of eight children. Michael was born and raised in Danbury, where he completed his entire schooling. First, at St. Joseph’s Parochial School and then Danbury High school where he graduated in 1941. At the age of 19, the Army assigned Michael to the Chemical Warfare Division during World War II. Following his discharge, he worked at various hat factories in Danbury, including McLachan, Lee and Mallory. Mike later open the WeemOWay, Ice Crème and Hot Dog Stand on Federal Road with his partner, James Nimer. He later worked at Troy Laundry where he delivered laundry. It was on his route that he met his future bride, Patricia Macko. 

Patty Macko of Danbury married Michael on October 27, 1956 at St. Peter Church. They met when she was 16, but didn’t date until years later. “He swept me away. I was only 16 when I met him but thought I was too young. I’d see him once a year for awhile,” Pat Seri said. “Years later, we went to see ‘Pat and Mike’ with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn and that was it. We were together after that."

The couple had four children, Michael Jr., Pamela, Kimberly and Gary. 

Michael has held various political offices throughout the years. He has achieved prominence in many areas of local and state government as City Auditor, Selectman, three terms as State Representative, two terms as assistant clerk of the House of Representatives, commissioner of Special Revenue, including Chief of Thoroughbred Racing and Jai- Alai and was town clerk for an astonishing 24 years. Michael has been one of the highest vote getters throughout his election career, having served with nine Mayors of the City of Danbury.

A true public servant, volunteer, and active member of the Danbury Democratic Party, he has been involved in both local and state government and various other organizations. He was a member of the Lion’s Club, a fifty-year member of the American Legion, the Catholic War Veterans, the Amerigo Vespucci Lodge, Old Timer’s Athletic Association, and a long time member of St Joseph Roman Catholic Church where he was an usher for over fifty years. Michael also served on the Board of Relations for the Federal Correctional Institute for many years.

Many people know “Tweezer” as the master of ceremonies for hundreds of public and private events. He has genuinely earned the title: “Toast Master General,” toasting at testimonies for retirees, bachelor parties, and award ceremonies. Michael has been a true public servant, active in both state and local organizations, having been the master of ceremonies for events as diverse as church communion breakfasts, ceremonies in conjunction with the annual Memorial Day Parade, many ribbon cutting ceremonies, testimonials, political, fraternal, civic and charitable fundraisers.

Michael was a recipient of many awards of appreciation including the Jefferson Jackson Bailey award for being an outstanding Democrat, The Old Timers Athletic Association Civic Award and the Nutmeg Award for outstanding contributions to the town of Danbury. Michael was awarded The Book of Golden Deeds presented by the Exchange Club of Danbury, as well as numerous other awards. Michael has opened events ranging from local bachelor parties to a Lions Club dinner for 600 people attended by the late George Steinbrenner, then principle owner of the New York Yankees. He has also emceed dinners for former Connecticut governors Thomas Meskill, Abraham Ribicoff, William O’Neill and Lowell Weicker.

There was some dispute about how he came to be known as “Tweezer.” Michael once said it was bestowed on him as a child by his mother’s hairdresser, who asked him to reach for a tweezer. Others say he was nicknamed “Tweezer” because he was so small his family could pick him up with tweezers. 

Known for his wit and timely comments as master of ceremony at countless civic, athletic and political functions, Danbury Town Clerk Michael “ Tweezer” Seri was considered one of the funniest men around. 

Unlike the tax collector’s office or the assessor’s office, people came to Michael usually for happy reasons. “People pay off their mortgages here,” he would say, “They are happy to get a marriage license because they are getting married, or at least they are happy at the time they are getting married.” Michael relished the role as master of ceremonies. “One of the gifts that God gave me is that I could listen to what someone says and I’m able to find something funny to say.” A lot of people are afraid of a microphone. I can’t wait to get to one.” 

Michael once said, “No one has ever taken offense to my sense of humor, I just enjoy making people laugh, I guess. I enjoy being alive, and I have a tremendous love for people.” That love was paid back a thousand times by all those who loved him. 

Michael is mourned by his wife Pat, of 57 years, whom he often referred to as his “bride,” four children: Michael C. Seri, Pamela Ginsburg and spouse, Gary, Kim Lane and spouse, Al, Gary Seri and partner, Nancy. Nine grandchildren, Jordan Ginsburg, Alexandra Khalifa and spouse, Ahmed, and Shana Ginsburg, Karlianne, Jack, and Noah Seri, Griffin, Tanner and Ryleigh Lane, one great grandchild, Roxas Khalifa. Brother, Joseph Seri, sister Theresa Carlo, sister Florence Klezovich, spouse Joe. Brother–in laws Frank Ferrauiolo, Steven and Richard Macko and spouse Mimi, sister–in law Mary Alice Seri and several nieces and nephews.

Michael is pre-deceased by his daughter Deborah Ann; brothers, Anthony (Ozzie) Seri, and John Seri and sisters, Mary Stavola and Jeannie Ferrauiolo.

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Wednesday, January 22. 2014 at 10 am in St. Joseph Church, Danbury. Burial will follow in St. Peter Cemetery.

The family will receive friends in the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 from 4 pm to 8 pm. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Michael’s memory to: Regional Hospice and Homecare of Western CT: 39 Old Ridgebury Rd.,. Danbury, CT 06810, Danbury Hospital Development Fund, checks made out to WCHN: 24 Hospital Avenue Danbury, CT 06810, or Saint Joseph’s School: 370 Main St., Danbury, Ct 06810.

The family wishes to express special thanks to the staff at Regional Hospice for their exceptional care and also to all the doctors and staff, especially Dr. Alan Davis for his care. A special thank you to all the caregivers, especially Angelica, Jasmine, and Ray. Thank you to special friends Bernie Rotunda, John Mica and Tim Tremarco.

The Jowdy Kane Funeral Home prepared this obituary.

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