MERIDEN MARIE ASSUNTA CIVALI DECARLO
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Marie Assunta Civali DeCarlo lived a rich and full life. On March 21st, at age 95, she joined her husband, Louis Roy DeCarlo, who predeceased her by 28 years. She was a hilariously pragmatic woman and said of her obituary that it should read “She was born, she lived, she died.” While factually correct, there was so much more to Marie DeCarlo.
A member of the Greatest Generation, Marie was a devoted wife, trailblazing professional, fierce mother, and doting grandmother. She was not a woman of half-measures. Deeply passionate about music and her commitment to providing musical direction as the organist and choir leader at Meriden’s First Congregational Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Baptist Church in Middlefield, CT she never missed a service or practice. She was a professional, starting her career later in life but becoming a plank holder of the state appellate court and retiring in 2009 at age 85 after 30 years as its chief secretary.
She lived most of her life in Meriden, Connecticut, where she was born the eldest of six to parents Antonio Civali and Margaret Polvani Civali. After the war, she married her high school sweetheart, Lou, and settled down to raise a family. They had three children—Margaret (Peg), Thomas, and Denise—and raised them all into fine, accomplished adults. After seeing her children to adulthood, she and Lou relished traveling abroad, visiting India, Africa, Israel, Egypt and most of Europe. As a first-generation Italian American, she especially delighted in her trips to Italy, where she maintained close ties to her extended family in the north and south of the country.
Marie leaves behind a rich legacy: her elder daughter, Margaret (Peg), and her husband, Ed Copelin, of Leesburg, FL; a son, Thomas DeCarlo and his wife, Deborah, of Meriden, CT; and her younger daughter, Denise, and her husband, Gordon Rathbun, of Hebron, CT. Marie had five grandchildren: Clark Copelin (Abby) of New York, NY; Russell Copelin (Lindsey) of Fairbanks, AK; Emma Saltonstall (Steve) of Hebron, CT; Molly Rathbun Foley (William) of Hebron CT; and Annie Rathbun of Hebron, CT. Lastly, Marie had two great grandchildren, Louis and Lincoln Copelin of New York, NY, and she was eagerly anticipating the birth of Emma’s son, which will be her third. She is survived by her sisters, Gloria Ragozzino, Joyce Ragozzino and Andrea McCusker, and predeceased by brothers Joe Civali and Al Civali. She also leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews.
Marie Civali DeCarlo leaves us a litany of accomplishments and laid out a blueprint for a life lived richly. She was our matriarch, our role model, and our greatest champion. Her absence leaves a hole that can never be filled, but the warm glow of her memory will give comfort and strength to those she knew and generations to come. We will try and live by her imperative to ‘Make Memories’ every day of our lives. It is those memories that we all made with our mother and grandmother that will sustain us.
The family is very thankful for the outstanding love and compassion provided by Chestelm Long Term Care in Moodus, CT. A special thank you to Dawn, Nancy, Rachel, Bernadette and Janice, and the many other wonderful people who went out of their way to bring joy to her life.
There will be no wake or funeral services at this time. Details of a celebration of life will follow at a later date. Donations in Marie's memory can be made to The Pat Tillman Foundation at https://pattillmanfoundation.org/donate/ which was instrumental in supporting Marie’s grandson, Clark, in pursuing his graduate studies after his service in Iraq and Afghanistan or to Fisher House Foundation at https://fisherhouse.org/ways-to-give/.