Mildred (Febbo) R. Bel Bruno, 94, of Clifton, formerly of Passaic, passed away on Tuesday, December 28, 2021.
Milly, as she liked to be called, was born in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1927. Raised in Passaic, NJ, she graduated from Passaic High School in 1946. After working as a bookkeeper for Air Associates, Teterboro, she married her uncle’s golf partner and the love of her life, James Bel Bruno, in 1951, and moved to Clifton in 1956. She was the loving and attentive mother of James Jr. of Paterson, Robert (Yolande) of New Canaan, CT, and Ron (Edward) of Manhattan.
Besides her unending dedication to home and family, Milly’s passions included writing poetry, acting in community theater, and supporting trees and animals. She won several poetry contests at the Clifton Library and mastered the art of the complaint letter – whether it was to a Senator about animals used in cosmetic testing or a CEO whose products didn’t quite measure up. She was for many years a performing member and Recording Secretary of the Wayne (NJ) Musical Theatre, where she appeared in shows such as “The Sound of Music,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Company,” the latter in which she played a hip, karate-chopping 70s housewife.
Offstage, Milly loved visiting and supporting the rescues at a local pet sanctuary, watching late-night talk shows, and consistently beating Jim and her sons at Scrabble. An ever-curious student, she studied everything from handwriting analysis and calligraphy to Lutheran Bible interpretation. Her stuffed filet of sole with crabmeat recipe was always a hit, as was her “sauce.” Entertaining was her lifeblood, with the BelBruno home hosting many friends and family over the years.
Never shy about her likes and dislikes, Milly cherished good manners, the perfect greeting card, and “Frasier.” She had no kind words for weak coffee, profane comedians, or the “The Golden Girls.”
In addition to her sons, she is survived by her brother, Anthony Febbo. Jr. of Rutherford; granddaughters Allie of Manhattan, and Riley, of New Canaan, CT. She is also survived by special caregivers, past and present, Michele De Palma of Bloomfield, Edel Rodriguez-Moran of Whitehouse Station, and Nanci Toth of Cocoa, Florida. Milly is predeceased by her husband James, parents Rose and Anthony Sr., and brothers Joseph and Salvatore.
Visitation 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Sunday, January 2, at Bizub Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Avenue, Clifton. Memorial service and blessing to follow at 7:00 p.m., followed by a private burial. The family asks non-vaccinated visitors to wear a mask. In lieu of flowers or mass cards, please consider a donation to the Humane Society of NJ, One Tree Planted, or the Alzheimer’s Association of America. Visit www.bizubquinlan.com to leave condolences.