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Venice Cecelia Partenope

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Miss Venice Cecelia Partenope, R.N., 101, of Hospital Avenue, North Adams, died Monday, Jan. 12, 2004 at Sweetbrook Health Care Center, where she was admitted on July 21, 2003 after a short illness.

She was born in North Adams, at the family home on Hospital Avenue on Nov. 30, 1902, a daughter of the late Vincenzo Partenope and Vincenza (Maddalena) Partenope. She attended the former Freeman elementary school across the street from her residence and graduated from Drury High School in North Adams with the class of 1921.

She also graduated from the Washington University School of Nursing with the class of 1925. She joined the nursing staff of the Henry W. Putnam Memorial Hospital in Bennington, in 1926, where she was named director of nurses on Sept. 9, 1942 and remained in that position until the outbreak of World War II when she resigned her position to enlist in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps on Dec. 1, 1943 as a 2nd lieutenant serving at Lovell General Hospital at Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass.

In January 1944, she transferred to Camp Edwards until April 20, 1944 when she was transferred to the 359th Station Hospital in Puerto Rico. She also served in Trinidad and the British West Indies until her honorable discharge on Dec. 17, 1945 with the rank of first lieutenant. She was awarded the American Theater Campaign medal for her service.

Following her honorable discharge, she was employed with the nursing staff of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for about a year when she started her career of private-duty nursing until her retirement in 1975.

Miss Partenope was a life-long communicant of St. Anthony of Padua Church of North Adams and a longtime member of the North Adams Lodge No. 704 Sons of Italy in North Adams where she served as a past president and delegate to state and national conventions.

In 1946, she became a member of the North Adams Emblem Club No. 20 where she served as trustee and was named “member of the month” on May 23, 2001. On June 18, 2002, the Massachusetts State Association of Emblem Clubs honored her as the state’s oldest member. In, May 1957, she was an organizer of the Berkshire County Chapter of the National Foundation for Muscular Dystrophy serving as its first vice-president.

Miss Partenope was a dedicated life-long member of the Republican party and a member of the North Adams Republican City Committee serving many times as a delegate to the Republican state conventions. She also was a member of the Republican National Committee, and the Republican Presidential Task Force. She also was a national member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and a former member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the Berkshire County Republican Association, which honored her on April 7, 1978 as North Berkshire Republican of Year, and the Frank R. Stiles Post No. 125 American Legion of North Adams.

She was a longtime supporter of MASS MoCA from its very beginning and encouraged many persons to support its programs. On her 100th birthday Nov. 30, 2002, North Adams Mayor John Barrett, III officially, proclaimed the day as Venice Partenope Day. Then-Gov. Jane Swift issued a proclamation in her honor and Pope John Paul II issued a apostolic blessing for her.

Miss Partenope is survived by one sister Miss Catherine Partenope who lived with her in the life-long family residence at 10 Hospital Ave. and many nieces nephews grandnieces and grandnephews. She was predeceased by six brothers and four sisters including Desdemona Morocco, Mary Marino, Angelina Grande, Teresa Partenope, Iago Partenope, Othello Partenope, Anthony Partenope, Michael Partenope, Frank Partenope, Thomas C. Partenope and two babies in infancy in Montreal, Canada.

Funeral services for Miss Venice C. Partenope, will take place with military honors on Friday morning Jan. 16, 2004 at 9:15 a.m. at Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home For Funerals Central Chapels, 74 Marshall St. North Adams, followed by a liturgy of Christian burial in St. Anthony of Padua Church at 10 a.m. Burial in Southview Cemetery, North Adams. Calling hours at the funeral home are Thursday, Jan. 15 from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested for St. Anthony Church or any charity of the donor’s choice through the funeral home.
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 14, 2004
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