Obituary: Michael John Venus, 74, of Ridgefield

Michael John Venus, 74, of Ridgefield, peacefully passed away on Sunday, July 1, 2018. Michael was born in Ridgefield on August 2, 1943 to Paul and Anna Venus.

Michael held the Town of  Ridgefield in high regard and proudly lived here for his entire life. Although he held other places across the east coast close to his heart, Bath, NH; Hancock Pond, ME and Palm Coast, FL, he truly loved Ridgefield.

Mike was a graduate of Ridgefield High School where he also met the love of his life, Veronica (Ronnie) DiFranco.

Michael was a hard worker, even as a child he worked on Conklin’s Farm. That is where his love for farming, horses, tractors and horse drawn equipment was born. This experience taught him to take the scenic route his entire life. In his younger career he was a school bus driver and delivered milk for Marcus Dairy. Michael then took over Venus Oil company from his uncle, Jack Venus and he owned and operated the company for over 30 years. After retirement, he enjoyed winters in Palm Coast, Florida and coming home to Ridgefield for the summer. He always made sure he didn’t miss the official start to summer, Ridgefield’s Memorial Day Parade. This past Memorial Day brought back great memories for Mike as he rode along dear friend, Eddie Gabbianelli on the old hook and ladder truck in the parade.

Michael was an honorary member of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department at the time of his death. Michael held numerous roles at the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department over the years including Line Officer, Assistant Chief, President and Fire Police Officer. Mike proudly served on the Board of Selectman, he was a chairman for Ridgefield Parks and Recreation, a clerk for the Board of Finance and he was also a Police Commissioner for the Town of Ridgefield.

After his retirement when Michael fell ill, his family learned the importance of organ donation. He received the gift of a new heart on October 1, 2002 from a Boston man. This gave him many more years to see children marry and grandchildren be born. After his transplant Mike was a huge Boston Red Sox fan. He appreciated the rivalry that came along with it with, especially with the Yankee fans at the Early Bird Diner. In Palm Coast, he enjoyed the men’s softball league of which he was made grill master and his Thursday tradition of playing with the men’s golf league, up until 4 weeks ago.

Mike had strong faith and was a devout Catholic his entire life. He attended both Sacred Heart Church in Georgetown Saint Mary’s Church in Ridgefield and Santa Maria Del Mar Church of Flagler Beach, FL.

Michael was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Anna Venus, and brother, Paul Jr. (Buddy). He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Veronica DiFranco Venus, two sons, John Michael Venus of Redding and Patrick Russell Venus (Jessica) of Ridgefield, two daughters; Julie Venus Petroccio (Marce) and Kelly Venus Molony (Peter) both of Ridgefield; eight grandchildren, Gabriella and Michael Venus, Gianna and Aleah Petroccio, Logan and Landon Molony and Russell and Gabriel Venus; two brothers, Peter Venus of Hialeah, FL and Steven Venus of Lakeworth, FL. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Celebration of Life Mass will be held on Friday, August 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM at St. Mary’s Church, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Friends will be received on Thursday, August 9, 2018 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department in memory of Michael J. Venus.

The family would like to extend their absolute heartfelt gratitude to the Yale New Haven Hospital transplant team where Mike was treated for over twenty years — Especially but not limited to Dr. Lee, Karin and Cheryl. The care he received there was why we were able to get so many additional years with him. For that, we are forever grateful.