Former director of Bradley Hospital dies at 90 years old

John Mullett, left, introduces his successor, Clarence Silva, at a hospital event in the fall of 1993. (File photo)

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

John Mullett Sr., former director of Bradley Memorial Hospital, now the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Bradley Campus, is remembered by hospital workers as a kind and accommodating gentleman, a good listener, and an innovator who accepted nothing but the best for the hospital.

“He worked closely with the community, and was an excellent leader,” said Fred Kuriger. Kuriger worked with Mullett both at Bradley, and as a fellow Rotarian at the Southington Rotary Club. “Mr. Mullett came from a military background, and he carried himself in that way.”

Kuriger worked as Mullett’s assistant director, and saw him as a health care mentor in that way.

“For a while, he was running Bradley as a one-man-show. He decided he needed an assistant,” said Kuriger. “He came to the University of Massachusetts, where my professor recommended me for the position. I gave him credit for taking a chance on a young graduate.”

Kuriger said Mullett’s vision for the hospital was a great one.

“He reenergized and brought that hospital up. He modernized Bradley,” he recalled. Under Mullett’s watch, Bradley went through several renovations, and saw several new pieces of equipment. Benefactors of the hospital provided assistance in funding, and Mullett used that to the hospital’s advantage.

John Mullett, hospital director, waves from the top of the building as workers picket below. (The Observer, July 8, 1982)

Mullett was one of the founders of Southington Care Center, and led the consolidation between Bradley Hospital and New Britain General, creating the Hospital of Central Connecticut. Eventually, the Hospital of Central Connecticut was purchased by Hartford HealthCare.

“Mr. Mullett took Bradley from a position of weakness, to a modern community hospital we were all proud of,” said Kuriger.

Dr. Ambrose Alfonsi remembers working with Mullett at Bradley.

“He was very accommodating, and listened to all of our requests. He didn’t like to disappoint people,” he recalled. “He always sought to do the right thing. He was very respectful of everyone’s position.”

Alfonsi said Mullett was a mentor for employees of Bradley, a naval man, and “he ran a good ship.”

Mullett was a World War II veteran who proudly served with the U.S. Navy and was selected for officer candidate school, where he attained the rank of Commander before his retirement.

Bradley Memorial Hospital unveils two new exercise bikes for cardiac rehab patients thanks to a donation from the Southington rotary club in the 1980s. From left, past Rotary president Pauline Levesque, club president Rev. David Strosahl, hospital president John Mullett, and cardiology nurse manager Terri McInness. (File photo by Robin Michel)

He received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, and furthered his education with a master’s in public health from Yale University. He was then employed as the administrator at the Boston University Medical Center in Boston, then moved on to director at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. He then worked as the director of Bradley Memorial Hospital until his retirement.

He eventually left the hospital business to care for his wife, the late Barbara (Fennelly) Mullett, who was ill.

Mullett passed away at age 90 on Nov. 21 at the Southington Care Center. His funeral was held on Nov. 27 at DellaVecchia Funeral Home.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.

Leave a Reply