New London - Lucille Rolande (St. George) DiPalma, 93, of 175 Lincoln Ave., New London, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.
She was born on Oct. 3, 1919, in St.-Michel-des-Saints, Canada, the daughter of Joseph and Laura St. George.
She met the love of her life at a dance at Ocean Beach in the era of the big bands. She married Herman O. "Monte" DiPalma on June 27, 1939, in Sacred Heart Chapel in Taftville. They celebrated 73 years of marriage this summer with family and friends. This past year their greatest pastime was sitting on the couch together, holding hands, and singing along with the Lawrence Welk Show. Lucille was a homemaker, a seamstress, music lover, and avid reader. Although she had an 8th grade education, she had a great desire for learning. She took matters into her own hands by educating herself through books, newspapers, and puzzles. She was fluent in her native French language which paved the way to teaching herself Italian and Spanish. She was most proud when she received her GED in 1982 at the age of 63.
Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were her great treasures, and the gifts she gave, money could not buy. She taught everyone her love for God, and she gave of herself with time, caring, and love. Her greatest joy, besides taking care of her husband, was celebrating all the milestones in their lives.
For 26 years, she had worked as a school bus driver for both the New London and Waterford school systems. She was a member of the St. Mary Star of the Sea Church as well as the Italian Sisterhood. She was classy and fun loving, and enjoyed picture taking, bowling, beaching, square dancing, cooking, baking, singing, playing the piano (self- taught), skiing, telling jokes, and she always wanted to learn how to fly a plane. Now she's "soaring with the eagles" and "dancing with angels".
Lucille enjoyed being in the Elks Club
Minstrels, a club Monte belonged to for many years. Her love for music led her, along with her sister Jeannine LaMothe, to produce, act, and sing in four musicals. She wrote all the scripts, designed and sewed all the costumes for the St. George Generations. The musicals, based on the life of her parents, were performed by all family members. The money they raised helped build a church in Caracas, Venezuela, as well as local music scholarships and charities. Music was truly in her blood as her family gathered with song and music from the time she was a girl.
Besides her husband, she is survived three daughters, Claire Peters of Texas, Lucille Tinnel and her husband, Bill, of Oakdale, Linda DiPalma of New London; two sons, Ronald H. DiPalma and his wife, Betty, of Mississippi, Monte DiPalma of Waterford; two sisters, Jeannine LaMothe of Groton, and Gervaise Gauvin of Taftville; a sister-in-law, Lorenza St. George of Taftville; 14 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by a son, Robert DiPalma; nine sisters; and two brothers.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 10 Huntington St., New London. Her entombment will follow in the St. Mary Mausoleum in New London. Visiting hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Byles Memorial Home, 99 Huntington St., New London.
Donations in her memory may be directed to Hospice Southeastern Connecticut, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360.
Please visit www.byles.com
for directions, to sign her guest book, or to share a memory.