Dominic “Donnie” Fieni, Jr., was a really great guy who left us quietly in the night. He never liked people to fuss over him or help him, but if you needed anything, he was always right there. There were times if you just mentioned something you thought you might want, he might show up at your door with it the very next day! You learned to be careful what you said in front of the man!
Dom never went anywhere unless he had something to give you. Brownies, fudge, pretzels and mechanical toys (he was a kid at heart) were his favorites. If you said you weren’t allowed to have the sweets, he would usually reply, “Well, just one is okay…” He was tough to resist.
His career started in construction with his father Dominic, Sr. and his brother Jon and I believe that’s where he learned to fix just about anything. He loved making a problem job work out. He could lay a driveway at a Roy Rogers and fix locks, fishing poles, reels, clocks, guitars (and other instruments I swear he had no idea what they were), antique toys, slot machines, player pianos, holes in walls, keys and, occasionally, computers. To tell the truth, he wasn’t so hot with computers but he always knew someone he could call! After leaving the construction company, Dom drove a tool truck. A big silver thing with “INDEPENDENCE TOOL CO.” on the side.
He met tons of people driving that thing. Then he started going to flea markets and sold there (he frequently bought more then he sold!). And he met TONS more people. Eventually, the truck became a store. He started with tools. Soon the things he enjoyed started showing up and getting sold. There were fishing poles and reels then videos, key making, the lottery and musical instruments. Guitars were number one. His favorite part of work? Probably being able to shoot the breeze with whoever came in the place, eat a snack and drink coffee or diet soda. He never pissed off the boss and (mostly) everyone left with a smile. That seemed to be his main goal in life – making others happy. He was very good at it too.
Dominic loved to share everything he loved. There was Flamenco music and dance, local blue grass concerts and oldie bands. All that making other happy came back to him a million times over when his great niece Meadow and his twin great nephews August and Lennon were born. Although he got exhausted trying to keep track of them, he could not get enough of them! And it was quite mutual. Dom was beside himself with joy when each one learned he was “Donnie” and called him by name.
Dom is survived by his brother Jon J., sister Mary J., sister-in-law Donna E., nephew Michael J., and niece Kelly M. and her husband Clif R. and their incredible children Meadow E., August S. and Lennon R. and tons of friends. Dominic leaves us with so many great memories and also the sadness of knowing we won’t be able to make any more.
Staying true to doing for others and making them smile, Dominic wants to treat everyone to one more good time. On Saturday, March 14, 2020, from 6PM to 10PM, you are invited to The Garden State Diner for music, drinks, food, laughter, dancing, maybe a few tears and (per Dom’s will) no sermons or speeches. I’m taking some liberties with that last request about no speeches. Stories about Dominic are just fine! So please join us to celebrate the life of this kind, generous, warm man, my brother Dominic.
You don’t have to RSVP, but if you could e-mail me and let me know how many people you are bringing, I’d be very appreciative. My e-mail is email@example.com. Please bring spouses, significant others, friends. All are welcome.