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Elizabeth A. "Betty" Nelson

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Elizabeth A. "Betty" Nelson Obituary
Westerly - Elizabeth A. (Bortugno) Curtis Nelson, 102, formerly of Spring St., Westerly, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 29, 2014, at the Apple Rehab Clipper Facility in Westerly from complications following a severe fall in May 2014.

Elizabeth, affectionately known as Betty, is survived by her sons, George P. Curtis and his wife, Arline M. Curtis, and Frank J. Curtis and his wife, Joyce Curtis, all of North Stonington; her grandchildren, G. Peter Curtis of Pawcatuck, Elizabeth M. Bialek and her companion, Ron J. DiCocco; and by her great-grandchildren, Samantha P. Bialek and Devin F. Bialek, all of Mystic.

She was predeceased by her late grandson, Frank G. Curtis, in 1982.

Betty was the last surviving member of a close-knit Italian family of five brothers and three sisters. Her father, Francesco Bortugno, emigrated from Savignano di Puglia, Avellino, Italy in 1878. Born in Cheshire, Betty grew up on the family farm in Canaan. She helped her eldest sister Nancy raise the family following the tragic death of her mother, Maria, in 1921 while bearing her ninth child, who died along with his mother. She moved to New York City in the late 1930s, spending most of her life in Jamaica, Queens. In 2004, she relocated to Westerly, to be closer to her family, having been widowed since 1986 after the death of her beloved husband, Frederick Nelson.

Betty was the quintessential "homemaker" - an accomplished seamstress, a wonderful cook and baker, an avid gardener, not to mention a steadfast Yankee fan. As a remarkably healthy centenarian, she outlived two husbands, never smoked nor drank, nor did she ever drive a car. Among her most cherished traits were her consistently positive attitude and healthy way of life, her generosity and deeply caring, loving nature, and her ability to come to the aid of her family in times of crisis and struggle. She was cherished by her family and will be sorely missed.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at St. Thomas More Church, 87 Mystic Road, North Stonington. Interment will follow at the Wheeler Cemetery in North Stonington.

Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly, is in charge of the arrangements. There are no calling hours.

To share a message of condolence online, please visit www.gaffnerydolanfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Beacon Hospice, 1130 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852, in Betty's memory.
Published in The Day on July 6, 2014
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