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Resident Spotlight: Toni Caggianello
Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on October 23rd, 2014

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Resident Spotlight: Toni Caggianello

Stories and Spotlights

toni-caggianelloOur Resident Spotlight Blog highlights the lives and work of our UMH residents. Featuring articles written for and by our residents, this blog invites you to take a closer look into our communities and meet the special people who reside there. Enjoy!

Meet Toni Caggianello!

Many may know Toni Caggianello from her recent art show. Toni discovered she enjoyed oil paintings about 5 years ago, in her home at Wesley Heights, an assisted and independent living community at Wesley Village in Shelton, CT.

She started taking art lessons while here and found she really enjoyed it. It’s evident she has great talent as well! Toni described her family as having artistic talent and her daughter also paints. Toni likes to give her paintings to her family as gifts, but managed to save a few she has in her home. The paintings are beautiful and the colors, quite vibrant!


Toni was born in Fairfield, CT, and lived near Sacred Heart University, where she also worked for a short time. Toni, who is 93, describes herself as “a big kid”. There were ten children in her family, Toni being number seven.  She attended Waltersville School and Harding High School.

One job Toni remembers fondly was working for Human Resources for Remington Arms during the war, when many women were entering the workforce. Besides helping the workers understand their benefits, Toni also remembers inspecting 30 mm caliber shells to see if they were made correctly and balanced. She had many enjoyable times with the women she worked with.

Toni has two daughters and one son, five grandchildren and great grandchildren. She greatly enjoys family visits. When younger, Toni also enjoyed playing Canasta and used to read many books and even take notes on them, as taught by one of her teachers. She also loves music, especially the opera. One thing on her “bucket list” is to visit Lincoln Center to enjoy a live opera. She also loves the music of her day, like Frank Sinatra. Toni used to enjoy attending outdoor concerts with her husband. She now enjoys the many events at Wesley Heights, such as the upcoming sock hop.

Toni’s favorite food is a dish her mom used to make, Chicken Paprika. Toni’s mother, who only spoke Hungarian met her husband (Toni’s father), who only spoke Italian at the time they met. Surprisingly enough, they still fell in love and were married! Her favorite color is yellow – she loves the brightness. She believes in appreciating and being happy with what you have. “When you’re younger,” Toni shares, “it’s easy to get caught up in striving to achieve.” One of the things she enjoys most about getting older is “enjoying the moments” more.

About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.