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Isabelle May Valesano


GREENWICH, Conn. — Isabelle May Valesano, 96, of Greenwich, formerly of Wakefield, Mich., passed away peacefully Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013.

She was born on May 4, 1917, in Bessemer, Mich., the daughter of John Henry and Anne Amelia (Buzza) Pender. Isabelle grew up in Hibbing, Minn., and then attended Bessemer and Caro, Mich., high schools. She finished school in Caro in 1935.

On Nov. 18, 1939, Isabelle was united in marriage to Anton Charles Valesano at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Wakefield, by the Rev. James McCarthy.

During World War II, she was employed by Cadillac Corporation in Detroit and Harnischfeger Corporation in Milwaukee. Isabelle later worked at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility in Wakefield for 12 years.

She was a charter member of the Wakefield Senior Citizens Center, treasurer for the American Legion Auxiliary and a member of the Immaculate Conception Women’s Guild.

In 2000, Isabelle moved to Merrimack, N.H., where she lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Al Pillarelli. In the spring of 2009, she moved to Stamford, Conn., to be near her daughter, Diane, and her husband, Jean-Marc Longo. Her last residence was The Mews in Greenwich.

Isabelle was preceded in death by her parents, John and Anne; her husband, Tony, on Jan. 15, 2001; her daughter, Carol Pillarelli, on Jan. 14, 2013; four sisters, Florence Rice, Eileen Hill, Grace Gentile and Millicent Pender in infancy; and three brothers, Burnett, Douglas and Vincent Pender.

She is survived by her daughter, Diane (Jean-Marc) Longo, her son-in-law, Alfred Pillarelli; a granddaughter, Tracie (Ralph) Curtis; four great-grandchildren, Brittanie, Melodie, Shara and Sonnie; her sister-in-law, Bernice Valesano; and many loving nieces and nephews.

Isabelle was a beautiful woman with a heart of gold, who cherished each moment of life. She will live in those whose lives she gently and lovingly touched. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Wakefield, with the Rev. Ben Hasse, celebrant. Also in attendance will be the Immaculate Conception Women’s Guild Honor Guard. Pallbearers will be her family.

Rite of Committal and interment will follow in Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield.

The family has set up a memorial fund in the name of Isabelle M. Valesano at The Mews, in care of Mr. Noone, ½ Bolling Place, Greenwich CT 06830.

Lakeside Memorial Chapel in Wakefield is assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy may be offered at


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