SOUTHINGTON - Margaret D. Festa, affectionately known as "Nana", died peacefully at the age of 98, on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at the Alzheimer's Resource Center of Connecticut in Plantsville, where she had lived for the past 13 years. A Glastonbury resident for 42 years, she was the widow of Michael F. Festa who she married in 1945 and who died in 1978.
Born in Waterbury, Feb. 7, 1916, to Carmen and Mary (Colaneri) D'Abato, she moved to Hartford in 1928, and graduated from Hartford Public High School in 1934. Margaret was a career woman long before it became common. She worked as a secretary at Jones Junior High School in Hartford and as an executive secretary for Alfred Fuller at the Fuller Brush Company. Later she worked in the public relations department for the Connecticut Education Association retiring in 1981 after 20 years. Margaret was a survivor of the Hartford Circus Fire of 1944, and her story was included in the Stewart O'Nan book, "The Circus Fire." Margaret was lively and fun and brought humor and happiness to all who met her. She especially enjoyed music and playing the piano by ear for the enjoyment of her fellow residents. She loved all babies, children and being with her family.
She leaves her three children and their spouses, all of whom she considered her children, Nancy and Walter Sudik, of Bethel, Katherine and Brian Donohue, of Plantsville and Michael and Jean Festa, of Unionville; four grandchildren who were her pride and joy, Wally Sudik, of Phuket, Thailand, Michael Sudik, of Missoula Mont., Elizabeth Donohue and her husband, Craig Connolly, of Avon and Meghan Donohue and her fiancé, Stephen M. Kortis, of San Diego, Calif.; her brother, Ernest D'Abato and his wife, Anita, of Florida; her sister, Elizabeth Valente, of Windsor; and her brother-in-law, William Edgar, of Enfield; 32 nieces and nephews and their children; her life-long friends, Teresa Sera Schulz, Werner Schulz and Herb Philbrick; and many other wonderful friends. She was predeceased by 10 siblings, Joseph and Minnie D'Abato, Marie Saraceno, Nick and Louis D'Abato, Edith Farr, Rose Taylor, Arline Baker, Helen Paterno and Gertrude Bigda.
A special thanks is given to her cherished Glastonbury neighbors, the Keefe and Sinibaldi families, whose kindness and attentiveness helped prolong her ability to live in her own home.
The family would also like to extend their gratitude to the nursing, recreation, kitchen and housekeeping staff of the ARCC for the exceptional care and love given to our mother during these past years. They were also her family.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, April 9, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Glastonbury Funeral Home, 450 New London Turnpike, Glastonbury. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, April 10, at 10 a.m., at St. Paul Church, 2577 Main St., Glastonbury. Please meet directly at the church. Burial will follow in Neipsic Cemetery. Donations in Margaret's memory may be made to the Recreation Program Fund of The Alzheimer's Resource Center of CT, 1261 S. Main St. ,Plantsville, CT 06479 or the