Molly G. (Amalia Giovanna) DiSalvo, 94, of Suffield, died early Saturday morning, May 4, 2013, at The Suffield House, knowing she was loved beyond measure by her devoted family and friends.
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Molly was born in Thornton, an Italian-American neighborhood in the northwest corner of Cranston, R.I., on March 20, 1919, the youngest daughter of Raffael and Giovanna Landi, both of whom had come to the U.S. as immigrants from Naples, Italy. Molly, her four sisters and three brothers grew up in Providence during the Great Depression, a time of extreme poverty and hardship, but in a family that had no shortage of love. She attended Providence schools but dropped out after her sophomore year to help support her family. Not until she was in her 60s did she fulfill her dream of finally graduating from high school. During World War II, Molly worked for several of Rhode Island's jewelry manufacturers, including Monacraft (now Monet) and Trifari. At Trifari, she was a quality control inspector, working with Gustavo ("Gus") Trifari to ensure the quality of pieces developed by well-known designer Alfredo Philippe. After the war, Molly developed her talent as a skilled office administrator and meticulous bookkeeper. It was while working as a bookkeeper in Providence that she met Pete, the Liggett-Rexall salesman from New York, who became the love of her life. They married in 1950 and moved to Greenfield, Mass., where Molly worked as a timekeeper for Keith Paper Co. in Turners Falls. They lived briefly in New Haven and Manchester, and finally settled in Enfield in 1960, where they raised a family and became very active in the community. Molly was an extrovert and a joiner, and inevitably, a leader. She was a Cub Scout den mother, a Girl Scout leader, president of the PTA, and an organizer of charitable relief events. Due to Pete's extensive business travel, she managed the household and the finances, while providing abundant love and support to her two children. At a time when most moms stayed at home, Molly also worked, first as a temp and then as an administrative assistant at Enrico Fermi High School, showing by example that managing work and family responsibilities was not only possible but fulfilling. After her retirement, Molly and Pete spent his remaining years traveling and enjoying each other's company, always happy to be singing, dancing, and entertaining friends. In her retirement, she continued to volunteer, giving her time to Meals on Wheels, Connecticut Children's Medical Center Family and Friends Program, Holy Family Church, and the Suffield Senior Center. After Pete's death, she filled her days teaching CCD, volunteering, bringing joy to family and friends, and, whenever she could, dancing. She was so proud of her five grandchildren and loved to babysit, read to them, and take them to lunch - though sometimes fitting them into her social calendar was a challenge! In her 80s, she happily assumed responsibility as trip leader for the University of the Third Age Travel Club, and organized bus trips for seniors to places in New England and elsewhere. The last trip she chaperoned was in fall 2012, and it broke her heart to have to give up her UTA duties this spring. Molly cooked, sewed, knitted, danced, sang, played mahjong, read extensively, and loved working on her computer. She patiently shared her wisdom and many talents with her children, whom she taught to be self-motivated, independent, financially responsible, and so appreciative of the gift of life. She taught us to pray, be generous, kind and forgiving, say grace before meals, use our napkins, and rotate our towels. She gave so much of herself to those around her, and was loved by her many friends. She was delighted this year to be crowned the Valentine's Day Queen at the Agawam Senior Center.
Molly is survived by her son, Peter T. DiSalvo II, and his wife, Cathy; her daughter, Melinda Westbrook, and her husband, Wayne; her grandsons and their spouses/partners, Michael and Sarah DiSalvo, David and Mary Kate DiSalvo, Owen Westbrook and Sally Lambert; her granddaughters, Sarah Westbrook and Alicia DiSalvo; her three great-grandchildren, Ava, Jace, and Elieana DiSalvo; a special niece, Francine, and her husband, Jim; and many very dear friends. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Pete; her sisters, Theresa, Mitzi, Susie, and Pat; and her brothers Jim, Albert, and Angelo.
Family and friends may call at the Leete-Stevens Funeral Home, 61 South Road, Enfield, on Tuesday, May 7, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A funeral procession will gather by 9 a.m. at Leete-Stevens Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 8, followed by the funeral liturgy at Holy Family Church, 23 Simon Road, Enfield, at 10 a.m. Burial will be at St. Patrick's Cemetery, 1558 King St. (Route 5), Enfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in support of Suffield Mini Bus Services, 83 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078.
To leave an online condolence please visit our website at
Leete-Stevens Enfield Chapels
61 South Road
Enfield, CT 06082
Published in Journal Inquirer from May 6 to May 10, 2013