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'He Was A Hero': CT 23-Year-Old Dies After Brave Battle With Rare Skin Disorder

A Connecticut man who spread humor and joy despite suffering from a rare skin disorder has died.
A Connecticut man who spread humor and joy despite suffering from a rare skin disorder has died. Photo Credit: Introvigne Funeral Home

A beloved man from Connecticut who spread joy and humor despite his struggle with a rare skin disorder died on Thursday, Oct. 20. 

Tolland County resident Jonathan Gionfriddo, of the town of Stafford, died at the age of 23, according to his obituary

Although he was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa, a rare skin disorder, Gionfriddo never let it define him, and he would often be a source of happiness and inspiration for many, according to his obituary. 

"Although he lived a life of pain, he put on a smile daily and used his humor to brighten everyone's days," his obituary said. 

Gionfriddo was known for his love of puppetry, and would often take his favorite puppet everywhere and use it to make people laugh, his obituary says. 

He also was a counselor for 12 years at Camp Discovery CT, a summer camp for children with disabling skin conditions, where he was known as the "heart and soul of the camp," and where he would entertain campers with his songs, dances, imitations, and poems. 

"Typically there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after hearing from Jonathan. His unbelievable courage and his ability to bring joy was a true inspiration to the children and adults who had the privilege of spending time with him," his obituary said. 

Gionfriddo was also known for his love of Thomas the Tank Engine, Spongebob Squarepants, and for watching YouTubers playing video games, according to his obituary. 

Although his disorder limited him, Gionfriddo was not discouraged and he still accomplished much in his life, including graduating with honors from Stafford High School and graduating from the Northeast Clown Institute in Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

"He will be remembered for his Strength, bravery and love for just about anything. He was a hero and inspiration to all who met him," Gionfriddo's obituary said. 

Gionfriddo is survived by his mother and stepfather, Brenda Boulrice and Bruce Laughlan; three siblings Ashley Gionfriddo, Emma Laughlan, and Cailee Laughlan; his father and stepmother, Dominic and Jennifer Gionfriddo; two step-siblings, Tyler and Isabelle Fernandez; and other family members, cousins, and friends, according to his obituary. 

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Introvigne Funeral Home located at 51 East Main St. in Stafford. 

His funeral will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 with a procession forming at 10 a.m. at the Introvigne Funeral Home, followed by a private burial. 

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