Lorraine G. D’Antonio (94) passed away peacefully on April 6, 2022 at The Seneca in Rockville, MD, holding hands with her husband and youngest daughter.
Born Annuziata Lorraine Giorgio in New Haven, CT on July 10, 1927, she was the first child of Carl and Theresa (Tess) Giorgio. The Giorgios owned a small electronics business where Lorraine became a helping hand, developing a good head for business, and acquiring the lifelong skill of being able to fix just about anything!
After graduating from Hillhouse High School, she attended Ohio State University completing a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. Returning to New Haven, she fell in love with William (Bill) Vincent D’Antonio. They were married in June, 1950 at St. Joseph’s church with a reception at the New Haven Lawn Club. Their first two children (JoAnne and Albert) were born in Windsor, CT where Bill was a Spanish teacher at the Loomis School. Nancy and Carla were born in East Lansing, MI. There, Lorraine helped support her growing family by making and selling jewelry while Bill worked on his PhD. Raissa and Laura were born in South Bend, IN where Bill was a professor at Notre Dame.
Lorraine put her organizational talents to work raising their six children and managing three academic associations. These academic responsibilities moved with her over the next 30 years, from Notre Dame, to UConn, to the Catholic University of America.
Lorraine was a loving, attentive wife and supportive, creative mother. Between juggling her work, the activities of her children and caring for a diverse collection of pets and plants, she was quick to cook up delicious Italian dinners and pots of soup for Bill’s many students and invited guests. There was always a welcome place at her table. She kept the family within budget by sewing Easter dresses and other clothes for herself and the girls, canning fruits, jams and pickled eggplant, boiling maple syrup, rewiring electric circuits, rebuilding and refinishing furniture (including two pianos), and repairing everything that broke.
Gardens flourished under Lorraine’s green thumb. Whether it was a bed of tulips, stalks of rhubarb and a fruit orchard on Stoddard Avenue, a backyard rock garden with roses in South Bend, bleeding hearts and azaleas along the stone walls in Tolland, CT, or begonias in the window boxes on the balcony in DC, she loved planting, pulling weeds and having her hands in the soil. There was always a bird feeder hanging nearby and binoculars on the window sill.
Lorraine and Bill organized many family trips and instilled in their children a lifelong love of travel and the outdoors, eventually visiting most of the 50 states and 30 countries together. When they weren’t traveling, she enjoyed museums, concerts, and walking in nature, especially during the spring. She will be remembered for her ability to ‘cut a mean rug’ on the dance floor at the decades of family reunions and anniversary parties celebrated in diverse locations.
A lifelong Catholic, Lorraine was instrumental in helping to shape Communitas, an intentional spiritual community in Washington, DC, based on Catholic teachings but open to all. She was their treasurer for more than a decade.
One of Lorraine’s greatest legacies was her dedication to helping those in need. In South Bend, IN, she worked tirelessly through the church to deliver food for the needy, visit the sick and elderly, and volunteer in her neighborhood. In Tolland, CT she was active with the high school drama club, sewing costumes and finding props for their productions, was an events organizer for a local arts non-profit, and brought soup to neighbors. In Washington, DC she initiated an ESL language program for the non-English speaking employees in their building, knitted hats for local school children, and visited regularly with infirm neighbors. Always gracious, she will be remembered for her warm hugs, deep emotional connections and radiant smile that brought joy and comfort to many.
Lorraine is survived by her loving husband of nearly 72 years, Bill D’Antonio (residing at The Seneca, in Rockville, MD), her sister Shirley Galbraith of Houghton MI, six children (JoAnne Goins [Will Goins] of Phoenix AZ, Albert D’Antonio of Marlborough CT, Nancy D’Antonio [Garald Farnham] of NYC, Carla D’Antonio [Tom Dudley] of Santa Barbara CA, Raissa D’Antonio [Morgan Henrie] of Anchorage, AK, and Laura D’Antonio [Garry Garvey] of Washington DC), 13 grandchildren (Angela Congelli, Kristopher Goins, Lisa Goodwin, Terra D’Antonio Dudley, Ariela Xiangwei Farnham, Bailey D’Antonio, Chris D’Antonio, Angel Stanley, Beth Adkins, Scott Henrie, Marlena Henrie, Aaron Henrie, and Charity Young), and 14 great grandchildren.
There will be a private Celebration of Life and Mass on Sunday, April 24th at 11:00am in Rockville MD. Her ashes will be dispersed in New Haven, CT on May 1st. Contact the family for details (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To view a slide show Tribute to Lorraine click here: Lorraine D'Antonio Tribute by Albert 2022
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the following charities in Lorraine’s name:
Iona Senior Services in Washington DC: Donate to Honor or Remember Someone Special - Iona Senior Services
The Rock Creek Conservancy: https://www.rockcreekconservancy.org/donate
Yale Alzheimer's Disease Research Center: Donations can be made by checks made out to ‘Yale University’ and sent to the following address: Yale University, Office of Development-Contribution Processing, P.O. Box 2038, New Haven, CT 06521-2038. Please include “Support for Alzheimer’s Research – in memory of Lorraine D’Antonio” in the memo.