Plainville Icon Dies at 78

Donald Tinty used his success to help the community

Donald Tinty, a long-time Plainville resident and community superman, died Thursday at Central Connecticut’s hospital in New Britain after a series of health complications.

Tinty, owner of the well-known Tinty’s Furniture store in Bristol, was born on July 6, 1930 and died at 78.

When asked to describe Mr. Tinty in three words, friend and colleague, Henry Bissonette replied, “My best friend.”

“It’s unbelievable what one person could achieve in a short time, yet be so humble and quiet about it," said Bisonette. “He always looked forward to another venture or opportunity to help.”

Tinty had the finances and education to help the community, and he did just that. His generosity and devotion certainly didn’t go unnoticed. He contributed to local fire departments, managed church maintenance and donated a football field to Plainville High School.

As a sports legend himself, and graduate of Plainville High School’s class of 1948, Tinty shined in football, basketball and track. He was inducted into the Plainville Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

“We both weren’t bad looking back in the day, there were always girls on our arms,” Bissonette said, “I was the musician and he was the sports star.”

Of course, Tinty had other interests in his earlier days besides the girls and sports. He owned more than 500 acres of land in Africa and had a passion for hunting game. He spent a great deal of time there and took tourists, including the famous Lucile Ball on safaris though his land.
His body will be donated to the University of Connecticut for scientific research. There will be no funeral.

His family and community will remember Mr. Tinty as a charitable philanthropist, brilliant businessman and neighborhood icon.

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