State flags around Connecticut are being lowered to half-staff to honor former state Rep. Richard Tulisano, a Rocky Hill Democrat who died Wednesday in the intensive care unit at Hartford Hospital. Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who served for 10 years in the House of Representatives with Tulisano, issued the order on Thursday morning.
The tributes to Tulisano continue to pour in from both political parties as Tulisano was cited as a charismatic legend at the Capitol with a fiery passion that few legislators can match today. His thundering stemwinders on the House floor will be long remembered by those who saw Tulisano in action at his peak.
"In his heyday, he was full of love and life,'' said House Republican leader Lawrence Cafero of Norwalk. "He was an amazing person.''
State Republican chairman Christopher Healy said, "Richard Tulisano loved the House of Representatives and the people of Rocky Hill. ... His floor debates with former state Representative William Wollenberg of Farmington were legendary in both substance and style. And even if you didn't agree with Richard Tulisano, he was always respectful and a man of his word.''
Former state Senator Kenneth L. Przybysz, a current lobbyist who served in the legislature from 1983 until January 1995, noted that Tulisano was long rumored as being nominated to be a Superior Court judge. But Tulisano often denied the speculation under the Capitol dome, and the nomination never came.
"He never wore the robes,'' Przybysz said. "He always had that rough exterior, but he was a lamb.''
Calling hours are from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at the D'Esopo Funeral Chapel at 277 Folly Brook Boulevard in Wethersfield. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church at 160 Main Street in Hartford.
Burial is at Cedar Hill Cemetery on Fairfield Avenue in Hartford.