VENTURA Marco Paulo Ventura (Mr. Smiles), age 39, of Bridgeport and formerly of Stratford, died peacefully on Saturday April 19, 2008 at St. Vincent's Medical Center with his loving family by his side.

Born on December 28, 1968 in Luanda, Angola, he was the son of Leonel and Otilia Albuquerque Ventura of Bridgeport.

A graduate of Bullard Havens Technical School and the University of New Haven, Marco had a strong love for the game of soccer and excelled at the position of goalkeeper during high school and throughout college. He continued his love for the game as a goalkeeper for the Vasco da Gamma Club of Bridgeport Soccer Team.

He was a devoted employee of People's United Bank, but most of all he will be remembered by most for his work at Captains Cove and Gizmo's Night Club of Bridgeport.

Along with his children he participated in the Lokota Princesses of Stratford.

A strong willed and gentle man, he could always bring a smile to everyone's face. He was a very outgoing and loving person who was always ready to lend a helping hand.

Marco was a loving son, brother and uncle but more importantly he was a truly devoted father. He will truly be missed by all.

In addition to his devoted parents survivors include his loved and cherished children, Harley Lynn, Marc Robert, Lucas Leonel and Thea Morgan, two loving sisters, Dalia Neves and her husband Horacio of Derby and Daisy Ventura of Bridgeport, nieces Victoria and Ericka Neves, maternal grandmother Laura Albuquerque of Monroe and paternal grandmother Maria dos Santos Monteiro of Portugal, godparents Almerindo Alves and Esperanca Alves.

He is also survived by many aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles both in the United States and in Portugal as well as a host of cousins and many dear friends.

He was predeceased by his two grandfathers Emidio Albuquerque and Manuel Ventura.

Funeral services will take place on Wednesday April 23, 2008 at 9 am in the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home 419 White Plains Rd. Trumbull and at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Church Stratford for a Mass of Christian Burial. Entombment will follow in the St. Monica Mausoleum of The Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Trumbull.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family through the funeral director.

Relatives and friends may call on Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. To light a virtual candle, visit us at

Published in the Connecticut Post from 4/21/2008 - 4/22/2008.