Dennis Puccini, 58, opera volunteer

July 09, 2006

Dennis Anthony Puccini, a retired retail manager, volunteer with the Baltimore Opera Company and acting enthusiast, died of complications from AIDS on Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Mayfield resident was 58.

He was born in Milwaukee and graduated in 1965 from Messmer Catholic High School there. He attended one year at Marquette University, where he studied costume history and design, and appeared in stage productions.

He then moved around the country as a retail manager and was hired by the Mark Cross company in the late 1970s as a director of organizational development. For more than a decade he supervised store installations and hired and trained staff for stores as they opened.

He retired from the company after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1991. During his battle with the disease, he worked as a volunteer for several AIDS organizations, family said.

About eight years after retirement, he met his partner, Mark Moody, in San Francisco.

The two moved to Baltimore in 2001, where Mr. Puccini became involved with the Baltimore Opera Company as a volunteer administrative assistant.

A few years later, he was named the opera company's volunteer of the year, family said.

Private services will be held July 29.

In addition to his partner, survivors include his mother, Alvira Budda of Milwaukee; two brothers, Allen Budda and Daryl Budda, both of Milwaukee; and two sisters, Paulette Serafin of Milwaukee and Danita Jacobs of Virginia Beach, Va.

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