Donald's Story

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ANDOVER: Donald L. Criniti of Andover, died surrounded by his loving family on June 8, 2015 at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Don was the devoted husband of Nancy J. (Renda) Criniti and father of Nicholas R. Criniti, age 12. Don was born in New Britain, Conn. to Nicholas and Carolyn (D’Addabbo) Criniti on September 23, 1964. He was a 1982 graduate of Berlin (CT) High School and a 1986 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, where he majored in Business Administration. Don started his career as an Account Executive with Arnold Fortuna, Lawner & Cabot (now Arnold Worldwide) advertising agency and for Putnam Investments. He was General Manager for BNU restaurant in Boston before joining Fidelity in 1994, where he held a number of leadership roles in event marketing, community relations, and corporate communications. Most recently he was a Senior Vice President in Fidelity’s Personal Investing business where he led a team responsible for media, public relations, and executive communications.

It was at Fidelity that Don met Nancy Renda, who worked in the Human Resources department. Reflecting on the office romance of nearly 20 years ago, one colleague said, “We all knew they were absolutely meant for each other and were delighted to witness their relationship spark into a flame.” Don and Nancy were married on June 13, 1998 and a few years later were thrilled to welcome their son, Nicholas, now 12. They lived in Salem, on Boston’s North Shore, before moving to Andover. Don’s many activities included skiing, spinning, cross-fit, and golf, and he made deep and lasting friendships throughout his life. In fact, many of Don’s friends became friends themselves to be able to spend more time with him and his family.

When Don was diagnosed with cancer at age 49, he never stopped believing that he would beat it, and he never stopped trying. When news of his final hospitalization spread, and visits were limited to family, his team received hundreds of letters and photos — more than 800 in all — describing how Don had impacted their lives for the better. The outpouring from people he was close to in childhood, high school, college, work, his neighborhood, and his town included notes saying, “I can’t imagine this world without you” and “You are on the minds of hundreds, if not thousands of us who are wishing you the best.” One former employee said that Don was instrumental in her changing her ticket on American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11, 2001: “You not only changed my life, you helped save my life.”

Don’s favorite times were spent with Nicholas, whom he adored and called Buddy. Nicholas carries on his father’s love for skiing and plays baseball for the Andover Little League. Despite a long commute to Smithfield, R.I. from Andover every day, Don was always there with Nancy to cheer him on whether on the mountain or on the field.

Don was predeceased by his mother, Carolyn. Surviving family includes Don’s devoted father, Nicholas of Berlin, Conn.; brother, Michael and his wife, Colleen of Tolland, Conn.; brother, Marc and his wife, Donna of Berlin, Conn.; nieces and nephews, Ashley, Michael, Lauren, and Cameron; and many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. His cousin, Sheila M. Rittman, Don’s dedicated hospital advocate, will ride in Don’s place in Dana Farber’s Pan Mass Challenge in August, joining 42 of his Fidelity colleagues wearing Criniti Strong emblems. Don also leaves his mother-in-law, Jeannette Renda of Bradford, and brother-in-law, John Renda and his wife, Barbara of Haverhill.

Visiting hours will be held from 3: 30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, at St. Augustine Church, 43 Essex St., Andover, MA 01810. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 12, also at St. Augustine Church. Arrangements are under the care of Conte Funeral Home, 28 Florence St, Andover, MA 01810; 978-470-8000. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nicholas Criniti College Education Fund by visiting http://go.fidelity.com/ysj4.
Published on  June 11, 2015
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