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50 Amity Road, New Haven, CT, 06515

Although you are no longer with us, you are always in our hearts.

Death is nothing at all—
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Whatever we were to each other
that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name;
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Laugh as we always laughed together.
Play, smile. think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that is ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was:
there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of your mind
because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past;
nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before—
only better,
infinitely happier and forever—
we will all be together with Christ.

—Carmelite Monastery
Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland

Kayla Donnelly Smith

Kayla Donnelly Smith

January 26, 1993 – February 2, 2015

Letter from Heaven

When tomorrow starts without me
and I’m not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your
eyes filled with tears for me.

I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
the way you did today
While thinking of the many things
we didn’t get to say

I know how much you love me
as much as I love you
And each time you think of me
I know you will miss me too.

When tomorrow starts without me
don’t think we’re far apart
for every time you think of me
I am right here in your heart.

Although employed here less than a year, Kayla had touched the lives of employees and customers, alike.
She made everyone she met, feel special. As one customer, Mark Schenker, wrote: “-she had a maturity well beyond her years, even as her youthful enthusiasm was evident throughout. It was impossible to miss that she was an exceptional person.”

We were blessed to have Kayla as part of our A-1 Toyota family. She will remain part of us.

Paul Evans

Paul Evans

August 8, 1980 – September 8, 2015

Paul Evans was born at Yale New Haven Hospital on August 5, 1980. He attended Heritage Christian Academy and Hamden High School. For the last 15 years he’s been employed by A-1 Toyota in New Haven and has frequently been among the top sales associates. Paul considered the supportive A-1 staff to be his second family. Paul was a true people person who excelled in all his endeavors. He was known for his great sense of humor and his ability to make people laugh. At the age of 19 Paul began his career in the car sales industry and truly perfected his skill. Many people often reported that they felt naturally drawn to him due to his charismatic, down-to-earth, and caring personality. Paul was an avid sports enthusiast; he was especially interested in football and basketball. Loving sports throughout his life, Paul began collecting basketball and football cards in his teenage years. Never would he dare miss a Green Bay Packers game. In his free time Paul enjoyed creating his own successful fantasy football league. Paul’s true passion was his family. Despite working long hours, Paul always found time to attend every football and basketball game his son Ethan played. Paul was very dedicated to spending time with his children, and most people would tell you that Paul’s favorite topic was talking about his wife and kids. Paul was a friend of and attended Gateway Christian Church in West Haven, Connecticut. He had a deep faith in the love and goodness of his Lord Jesus Christ. Paul leaves behind his dedicated wife Leah Tajadod-Evans and sons, Ethan and Bryson, his loving parents, Tim and Lucy Evans, brothers, Matthew and Shila Bhandari-Evans, Josiah Evans, and was predeceased by his brother, Luke Evans. Paul also leaves his grandfather Clinton Evans, nephew Lucian Evans and niece Maya Evans, parents-in-law Mary and Jim Stallard and Jay Tajadod, aunts/uncles, sisters-in-law and many more friends and admirers. Our dear Paul was taken from us much to soon. He will always be greatly loved and will be so very, very missed. We love you Paul, your A-1 Toyota family.
Michelle (White) Tortora

Michelle (White) Tortora

April 17, 1966 – April 29, 2016

Recently celebrating her 50th birthday, Michelle had been in our employment for the past 24 years.
She started her career as a Service Writer in 1992, advancing to Service Manager in 1996. When she started her family in 1999, she stayed with us as our Warranty Administrator. In 2008 she saved the dissolution of our Body Shop by taking on the task of Body Shop Manager. Under her care and devotion, she brought it to its current level.

For the last two years, out of 114 Toyota dealers in the tri-state New York Region, she was the only Body Shop manager to achieve the Body Shop Manager Excellence award. And, just this year, she received the distinct honor of the Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Award for the entire country. She was proud to be the first ever Northeast recipient.

Many of you customers have encountered her over the years. We know you will miss her smiling face. We miss her everyday.

Edward Gannon

Edward Gannon

September 1, 1947 – May 5, 2016

Ed started with us in 1994 as body shop technician and he helped the department grow from an internal based shop to the Toyota Certified Collision Center it is today. During his tenure, he probably restored 5,000-6,000 customer vehicles. He could not be rushed through a job. He was meticulous and steady with his work, taking great pride in his handicraft. From being a self taught man, he achieved Toyota Certified Technician status and successfully completed many courses over the years to keep pace with the changing trade and the changing vehicle construction. During those 22 years he had countless years with perfect attendance and most other years, only missed work for one period each year due to a cold. He was hard working, devoted and always here.

But Ed was so much more than just a ‘body technician’. Ed loved boating, flowers, his country, his co-workers, our dealership.
But most of all, he loved his family. When his wife died in 1998 at the age of 42, his main focus was to raise and provide for the younger two of his four boys. He was a dedicated father and he was thrilled to be a grandfather.

We will miss our friend, his caring ways and his constant presence here.


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A-1 Toyota 41.3356578, -72.9788226.