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Alice (Bette) Tortora, 88, passed away on Feb.14,2013 at the Inn at the Watermark in Bridgeport where she had been living since November. She was born on Aug.3, 1924 in Bridgeport to Dr. Francis P. and Mary C. Carroll. Bette grew up in Fairfield with her three sisters, Mary, Helen (Pizzo) and Patricia. All have predeceased her. She graduated from Laurelton Hall in Milford, Ct., where her fierce intelligence and desire to help others took root and remained a strong motivator throughout her life. In 1945 she graduated from the College of New Rochelle and received her MS degree from Fordham University. She taught history, worked for the VA and served on the staffs of the Mental Hygiene Clinic in N.Y., the Fairfield Service Society and the Darien Counseling Service before turning to private practice as a psychiatric social worker. In 1965 she married Dr. Michael Tortora of Greenwich and became grandmother to her stepson Peter and Judy's three boys, Michael Joseph, Peter Christopher and Kyle Robert. Bette and Michael loved entertaining, especially at their retreat in Biddeford Pool, Me., to where they fled every weekend each Summer with nephews, nieces, friends and other family. Travel was also a priority for them and Bette began to study Italian and Spanish, which she continued until shortly before her death. Bette was a natural leader and an extremely capable person. Her family believes that she was president or chairperson of every organization she chose to join, from her school days to the Greenwich Woman's Club and Garden Club, Greenwich Social Services, Meals on Wheels, U.S.E. and Greenwich Chaplaincy. For the last nineteen years she lived at Putnam Park as one of an energetic band of friends who played canasta, socialized and traveled together, going on day trips, to the Greenwich Symphony and enjoying the Greenwich park concerts in the Summer. Her family includes stepson Peter (Judy) of Greenwich and her grandson Kyle of Encinitas, CA. Her grandsons Michael and Peter have predeceased her; Michael's wife Nancy and great-grandsons Peter and Owen of Ridgefield, Ct.; her six nieces and nephews, Alice Bartha of Colchester, CT., Katie Henault of Worcester, Ma., Paul Pizzo of West Hartford and Jon, Tom and Ted Pizzo of Glastonbury, CT. Bette will also be missed by her fifteen great nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be at Fred D. Knapp and Son, 267 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, Ct. on Tuesday, Feb.19th from 4:00 to 7:00pm. Mass of Christain Burial will be on Wednesday, February 20th at 10:30 am at St. Mary Church, Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, Ct.
Published in GreenwichTime from Feb. 16 to Feb. 19, 2013