Betty Anne Caldara

Obituary
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Mystic - Betty Anne Caldara, 97, wife of the late W. Stuart Caldara, passed away in Mystic, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.

Born in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Nov.14, 1916, the daughter of the late Dr. Hugh M. and Ruth (Pearson) Beebe.

Betty Anne graduated from University High School in Ann Arbor in 1933 and while there was an outstanding athlete, earning All American Honors in field hockey. She went on to major in English and fine arts at the University of Michigan and was active in the Collegiate Sorosis, one of the nation's important early organizations to promote scholarship and professional opportunities for women. After graduating in 1937, she moved to Cambridge, Mass. where she taught for several years at the Shady Hill School. Then while teaching at the Park School in Buffalo, N.Y., she met Stuart and they were married in 1942 in Ann Arbor. After living in Buffalo for several years they resided in Rye N.Y., before settling in Greenwich with their son Hugh. In Greenwich, Betty Anne became active in community service and in particular serving at the Greenwich Hospital and chairing the Brunswick School Fashion Show, an annual fundraising event.

She retired with her husband to Stonington in 1972 and continued her volunteerism as a docent for 30 years at the Lyman Allen Museum in New London and the Lighthouse Museum in Stonington. Throughout her life, she was a wonderful shipmate on cruises of the family sloop "Baroda", from the Canadian Maritimes to the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. Betty Anne's spirit and humor appealed to all who knew her and at the age of 83, she was "discovered" in Mystic by a production company and subsequently was cast in a television commercial that was made for the Super Bowl in 1999 and filmed locally in Stonington. Betty Anne was also a talented needlepoint designer and craftsman and created several award winning works in New London County.

An avid world traveler, she enjoyed following her curiosity for other cultures and countries well into her 90s. A decade ago, she began to volunteer as a tutor and help young primary school students learn to read. In addition, Betty Anne remained an active member of the Stonington Garden Club, the Wadawanuck Club, as well as the StoneRidge community in Mystic, where she lived for the past nine years.

She is survived by her loving son and daughter in law, Hugh and Joanne Caldara of Washington; a niece, Sharon Beebe; a grandniece and nephew in Jacksonville, Fla.; and a cousin, Molly (Potter) Scheu of Hanover, N.H.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at The Road Meetinghouse First Congregational Church of Stonington, 903 Pequot Trail, Stonington.

Betty Anne requested that any contributions be made to the Lawrence + Memorial Cancer Center/ Dana-Farber Institute, c/o Office of Development, 365 Montauk Ave., New London, CT 06329 or The Wounded Warriors Project at 4899 Belfort Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256 (www.support.woundedwarriorproject.org).
Published in The Day on Oct. 27, 2013
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