Josephine “Penny” Covino, Former City Councilwoman, Passes Away At 94

City Council member representing the North End, graduate of Bridgeport public schools, nearly four decades working in the education system’s nutrition center, Josephine “Penny” Covino was a fabric of diversity in the city with numerous friends in politics. She passed away on Friday at age 94.

From her obituary:

Josephine “Penny” M. Covino, age 94, daughter of the late Roger and Jennie (Decarlo) Centopani, was born on February 28, 1930, and passed away peacefully on March 22, 2024. A lifelong Bridgeport resident, she was a proud graduate of Central High School, class of 1947. She graciously devoted her life’s work to her community, having served as a member of the Democratic Town Committee and as a Bridgeport City Councilwoman, and having supported Bridgeport Public Schools as a 38-year employee of the Thomas E. Carroll Nutrition Center. She further enjoyed being a Justice of the Peace, delighting in the opportunity to marry many couples over the years, including her grandson.

In a word, Penny was extraordinary. A child of the Great Depression, she was always appreciative of what she had, valued hard work and education, and was unparalleled in her generosity. She never showed up to any event without a box of pastries from Del Prete and a kind word for everyone. A woman of many talents, she could cook a delicious meal, handle most home improvement projects, and vibrantly spark a discussion on current events, all within a single afternoon. She was wise, she was kind, she was witty, and she was undoubtedly the most powerful presence in the lives of those who had the great fortune to know her.

Above all, Penny’s greatest joy was her family. She is the beloved mother of Carole Pannozzo and Cathy (Jerry) Dombrowski, with whom she enjoyed many shopping trips, Dunkin runs, trips to the Cape, and cooking the traditional Italian dishes that graced the tables of many family gatherings and holidays. “Mommom” doted on her grandchildren, Joseph (Caylinn) Pannozzo, Jason (Stephanie) Dombrowski, Christopher (Lauren) Pannozzo, Allison (Bob) Dearington, and Andrew Dombrowski. She filled their lives with love and wonderful memories of seven fishes and card games on Christmas Eve, sleepovers and epic tag sales on Clark Street, and the warmest smile and loudest cheer at every game, birthday, and school event.

Later in her life, Mommom delighted in spending time with her nine great grandchildren, Rooney, Evie, Jason, William, Joey, Linnie, Michael, Olivia, and Sammy, who she managed to play with and chase after, even into her 90s.

In addition to her daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, Penny is survived by her sister, Mary Jane Martucci, and special niece, Nancy Rosa. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Nicholas Centopani, her sister, Rose Iannarone, her brothers-in-law, Louis Iannarone and Henry Martucci, and her sister-in-law, Gloria Centopani.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. directly in St. Andrew Church, 435 Anton St., Bridgeport. Entombment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Trumbull. Arrangements in care of Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105 or at To leave an online condolence, visit us at



  1. RIP, Penny.

    I will remember Penny Covino as a, nice, salt-of-the-earth, friendly, equanimous person. She was one of the “sweethearts”/””good guys” of the people that I encountered in Bridgeport politics, always preferring to say something nice or constructive about people and political situations, or to just calmly maintain her silence. I’m sure that she will be greatly missed by all of her family and friends, and I offer them my sincere condolences. She was one of the people that kept Bridgeport “great” — in collective spirit, and in the hearts of Bridgeporters…

    It would certainly be fitting for the Democratic Town Committee and the City of Bridgeport to bestow some form of permanent memorial in her honor for her long and dedicated service to the city during some of its most trying times…


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