TORRINGTON – Anita Alberta Oneglia Torizzo, beloved wife of Ernest Torizzo of 56 years, passed away peacefully on November 27, 2020. Born in Torrington on February 14, 1942, she was the daughter of the late Virginia and Andrew Oneglia.
Encouraged by her father to study Spanish, she pursued and achieved academic excellence at Torrington High School and throughout her academic career. Inducted into the National Honor Society and voted best dressed girl in her class, she caught the eye of Ernie Torizzo, the boy voted most likely to succeed. After graduating, she attended Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, but transferred after a year to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, to actively pursue her Spanish studies and be close to her love in Union College in Schenectady, nearby.
Shortly after graduating from Skidmore, she married Ernie and began her professional career as a Spanish teacher. She has taught at Westover School in Middlebury, Forman School in Litchfield, Litchfield and Washington Montessori Schools, and Torrington High School, where she also taught English as a Second Language. She also gave private lessons at her home and gave private lessons. Her love for Spanish culture was evident in all aspects of her life, including the interior of her home, her paella and arroz con pollo dinners, and her colorful wardrobe.
She was the co-founder of Litchfield Montessori School and was the principal of the school for a short time on its Northfield campus. She was also the co-founder of the Children’s Cultural Center, an extracurricular place for advanced studies.
She has served on the board of directors of Brooker Memorial and the Litchfield Montessori School, and was a counselor at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.
As a Renaissance woman, she had a relentless quest for knowledge and boundless energy, and was not limited to just one or two hobbies. She was a member of the Litchfield Garden Club, Harwinton Tennis Club and Litchfield Country Club, where she spent many years playing competitive tennis with friends. She attended weekly yoga classes with Ernie and danced with him or with anyone else on every occasion. She resumed her piano studies throughout her life and delighted family members at reunions with her unique take on Tennessee Waltz, as well as her favorite Silver Bells at Christmas. She was often accompanied by the clicking of her big jewels on the keyboard.
She was an avid swimmer as well as an alpine and cross-country skier, bringing together like-minded friends and family in Colorado and Norway. Her intellectual curiosity has taken her across the world, pursuing Bible studies in Israel, Nordic history in Scandinavia, and dining with King Juan Carlos of Spain.
As much as she thrived in her intellectual pursuits, so was she founded on her love of family, which was frequently demonstrated with large pots of soup and generous bowls of fruit.
Her children joke that they grew up on beet juice, parsley balls and carob. In the 1980s, when there was no organic blue corn crisps in the Northwestern Connecticut settings, she would go on a trailer with her sisters and nieces to Bread & Circus in South Hadley, Mass., Where they were traveling. filled their cars with months’ worth of brown rice, burdock root and fruit leather, which would inevitably cause an eye roll or two of their children back home. But still determined to provide a healthy foundation on which to build their lives, Anita has remained steadfast in her commitment to her family.
Anita never dipped her toes in the water; she dived. And whatever she did – from compiling an outfit to scanning her phone – she did it with that little extra something that was uniquely Anita. She wasn’t the type to have a touch of color; she wore the whole rainbow, announcing herself with her flair for fashion and her creative, ever-changing spectacle frames. Her exaggerated Halloween scenes were legendary in her neighborhood, and she made other family members, including her elderly mother, dress up with her and scare those fond of the coffin she made for the occasion. . .
When her sister Barbara was diagnosed with cancer, she and their sister Cora were dedicated to ensuring that Barbara received the best possible care. Whether it was making macrobiotic meals or moving to Canada and Germany for months on end for treatment, she was completely dedicated. And when Barbara passed away, she embraced her sister’s family as her own. She’s hosted all the Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, opening her doors to a seemingly endless parade of parents drawn to the warmth, love and laughter so evident in her home.
In her later years, she traveled regularly to visit her grandchildren in Colorado and Vermont, taking the eldest to Paris where they visited museums, took a Monet watercolor class in Giverny, and learned to make macaroons. . Although she somehow managed to avoid changing a single diaper, she taught them the most important life lessons: she taught them to be self-confident, to sip Coca Cola. in a crystal glass and keep a secret. She showed them how to laugh with abandon and live life to the fullest. One of her big regrets about leaving us was that she wanted more time with the three of them.
She leaves behind her beloved family, her husband Ernest; sons Jonathan Torizzo of Boulder, Colorado, and Andres Torizzo of Burlington, Vermont; daughter-in-law and dear friend, Margie Torizzo, also of Burlington, Vermont; and grandchildren, Ella Rose and Cecilia of Boulder, and Dylan of Burlington. She also leaves behind her loving and devoted sister, Cora Regis of Torrington; many nieces and nephews; her dearest friend and college roommate, Unni Cooper; and many other precious friends. She was predeceased by her parents; his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Francis (Louisa), Raymond (Gloria) and George (Elmira) Oneglia; his sister and brothers-in-law, Barbara Alvarez Tycienski (Bob Alvarez and Marty Tycienski); his brothers-in-law, Mike Cianciolo and Peter Regis; and her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Bernice and Jack Carroll.
In keeping with Anita’s unwavering commitment to the BOAT Fund, a charitable fund for children in need established in honor of her sister Barbara, donations can be directed to the BOAT Fund, c / o Northwest CT Community Foundation , 33 East Main St., Torrington, CT 06790.
Interment and a celebration of his life will take place when family and friends can safely reunite. Condolences can be sent to Anita’s family by visiting cookfuneralhomect.com.