Eleanor Ann (Sunni) Cretella, a prominent artist in the local Connecticut community, died peacefully at her home in Hotchkiss Grove on July 15, 2020 surrounded by her family. She was 91. Sunni, born November 3, 1928 in New Haven, Connecticut, was the daughter of the late Rose and Frank Ferreno. She was predeceased by her five sisters, Josephine Cruz-Scarpo, Lilian Abbate, Camille Angeloni, Marguerite Schaefer and Frances Conte. She was a 1946 graduate of Hillhouse High School and employed by Yale University Library. In the early 1950s, Sunni spent several years in California engaged in the clothing and fashion industry. She was a fashionista and trend-setter as witnessed by friends and colleagues. She taught makeup and fashion to young women, including Jackie Kennedy Onasis, at the John Robert Powers School in Washington, D.C., and was a fashion coordinator for many years for the Kramer Fur Company, In the early 1980s she was a successful real estate agent with H. Pearce Co. Sunni was a prolific painter whose work is in many private collections and the permanent collection of the John Slade Ely House in New Haven. She was a member of the Paint & Clay Club, Brush & Palette Club, Guilford Art League and Madison Art Society. Besides all the portraits she painted of family members, close friends and acquaintances, two of her paintings are of prominent judges and housed in the Appellate Court in Hartford. Sunni is survived by her husband of 67 years, Richard Louis Cretella and her five children; Kari Cretella-Nickou, Wendy Hodge (Peter), Ellen Connell (Kevin), Steffen Eve Cretella-Costantini (Marco), Rex Cretella (Monica), fourteen grandchildren and one great-grandson. Sunni adored music, especially, Frank Sinatra, her Long Island Sound home, and most of all spending time with her children and extended family. Calling hours will be held at Keenan Funeral Home in North Branford, Friday, July 17, 2020 from 5 pm-7 pm. Please wear a mask or face covering. A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 18, 2020, at Branford Center Cemetery, 171 Montowese St, Branford. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a preferable charity in Sunni’s name.
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