Michael Norcia

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Michael Norcia passed away peacefully in his home on Jan. 21, 2013. He was 97 years old. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Tommasina (Donnarummo) Norcia, and their two children, Ruth Norcia Morton, of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Michael Norcia, of Gales Ferry, Conn.
He is also greatly missed by his son-in-law, J. Kevin Morton, and daughter-in-law, Laura LaFleur Norcia, along with his grandchildren, Michaela and Seth Morton, and Meghan and Aaron Norcia. He was predeceased by brothers Ernest, Henry and Albert Norcia, and sisters Rocca DiCesare, Hilda Vacca Balestracci and Lillian Fiorello, all of Pawcatuck.
Michael Norcia was born in Lawrence, Mass., the fifth of seven children of Simone and Antonnetta (Mambro) Norcia. His love of poetry and of a good story was nurtured by many teachers (he was salutatorian of Stonington High School's Class of 1933). He was known for his deep affections, lively humor, and deep Christian faith. Michael served as an Elder of the Westerly Ecclesia of Bible Students where his insight and wisdom made him a touchstone for generations of Bible students. He taught Sunday school and Bible studies in his home for more than 50 years.
Michael served in World War II as a registered non-combatant, almost two years stateside, followed by a two-year tour of duty as a medic in the China-Burma-India Theater. He was awarded the Bronze Star for "meritorious service in action" on July 24, 1945.
After the war, Michael returned to his family in Pawcatuck. After eight years of civilian life, Michael met Tommasina Donnarummo, his wife and partner for 59 years. From the time of their meeting in June 1953, Michael called their courtship through correspondence "the principal occupation of my mind and heart." In January 1954, they married. Michael equated the "finding" of his beloved Tommasina with the Biblical finding of wisdom, and always teared up when recounting the story to his children and grandchildren.
For nearly his whole life, he loved to tell stories and was a terrific correspondent. In 2002, he completed and self-published "My Random Personal History," a 450-page compendium of recollections from 87 years of life. His remembrances were leavened with scripture and poetry, his own and others'.
Michael loved beauty. He loved music of all kinds, especially opera. Before illness slowed him down, his hobbies included winemaking, and the care of a large, terraced garden, vineyard, fruit trees, and chickens. "The Farm" was a joyous gathering place and will continue to be so for the loving family he leaves behind. We treasured his life and will treasure our memories of him.
We have so many to thank for their support, those who visited Mike and Tommasina, brought food, flowers, favors, and friendship for many years and especially these last three. We particularly want to mention: Brother and sister-in-law David and Carlene Donnarummo; Tammy and Rick Kaye and family; Timothy and Meghan Donnarummo and family; Cindy Lathrop, Dorothy Hall, Julius Panucci; Home Care Choice, especially Rae and Joyce, VNA of Southeastern Connecticut, especially Kate and Donna; Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut, especially Nancy, Sylvia and Sally; Dr. Mancini and Dr. Sandoval; and last but not least, Janifer Abraham of Home Care Choice for her loving care of Michael and Tommasina.
The funeral service will be this Saturday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. at the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St., Westerly, RI 02891, with visitation preceding from noon to 1 p.m. Burial will follow at River Bend Cemetery, Westerly.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to:
1. Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut (VNASC), 403 North Frontage Road, Waterford, CT 06385
2. Hospice Southeastern Connecticut, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360
3. Christian Discipling Ministries International, c/o Laureen Shaw, 1124 Las Cruces Court, Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Funeral Home
Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home
121 Main St.
Westerly, RI 02891
(401) 596-2465
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Published in The Westerly Sun from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2013
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