Holly Cmiel


Holly Cmiel of Key West, Florida, and Burlington, Connecticut, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2021. Holly was loved for her generosity, kindness and perseverance.

In her early career, Holly worked as an radiologic technician in Boston. After she married Ray Cmiel, she helped build their concrete business working as a dispatcher for Valley Concrete while changing diapers. Holly was also a restauranter, property manager, a docent for the Key West House and Garden Tours, a performer and she volunteered at a hospice.

Kids and family were the most important things to Holly. She had an innate ability to help those in need. In addition to her four children, Ric, Robin, Raymond and Rozlyn, Holly was very close to her grandchildren, Brooke, Casey and Hadley, and her nieces and nephews. Holly also has honorary children who all remain close to the family today.

Holly’s big Irish family included her four sisters, Audray, Judy, Maureen, and Sharon, their spouses and all their children. The laughter was never-ending and the stories unforgettable.

Intelligent and creative, Holly had a strong interest in history, travel and the arts, particularly dance. Dance led Holly to her second act.

In 1971, the Cmiels fell in love with Key West. After Ray’s passing, Holly sold her home in Connecticut and made Key West her year-round residence. Then she met Peter Diamond Ilacqua.

Peter Diamond, a vocalist and musician well known on the island, and Holly connected. They made quite the pair. Peter provided the music and Holly delighted audiences with her dance. Peter and Holly were together for 31 years.

Holly maintained friendships with people across the globe, including her best friend Betty Palaia. It’s a good bet that they are together, Betty playing the piano and Holly dancing with the angels.

Holly’s ashes will be interred in Key West and in Burlington. There will be a service at Saint Mary of the Sea, 145 Main St., Unionville, Connecticut, on Friday, May 14, at 9:45 AM EST followed by a reception at Tunxis Country Club in Farmington.

Please sign guestbook at http://www.courant.com/obituaries.

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