Pia Ciarlelli DelPiano, 89, passed away peacefully on August 6, 2016. Born in Waterbury, CT she lived there until 1946, when she married. Pia predeceases her beloved husband of 70 years Joseph. Through their years together they had 2 children, 3 grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and travelled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico in their RV.
Mother of Cheryl DelPiano-Kirk of West Haven, CT and Gary and Beth DelPiano of Orange, CT, she was always supportive and inspiring for them and her grandchildren. Her parents Amedeo and Giovanna St. John Ciarlelli, who were born in Italy, immigrated to the US and found each other in Waterbury and married.
Pia leaves her 3 grandchildren, Daniel DelPiano of West Haven, Jeremy Kirk of West Haven and Christine DelPiano of Orange who called her gramma or Lolly and one great-granddaughter, Callie Convery-Kirk. She always encouraged and lauded them unabashedly to anyone who wanted to listen and some who did not. She loved them unconditionally, as she did the rest of her family, and was usually the loudest cheerer at their events! She definitely “loved them More”.
Wanting to be a teacher, after her children were both in school, she attended SCSU, then the New Haven State Teachers College, where she earned her degree in elementary education. Upon graduation in 1962 she started teaching kindergarten at Orange Avenue School in Milford, CT. A few years later she moved to the Orange, CT school district where she taught for many years at the Mary L. Tracy School in the 6th grade. Upon its closing she moved to Peck Place School where she taught 6th and then 3rd grades, demanding much from her students in all subjects. She also always shared her love for writing and grammar with them. While teaching she earned a MA and a Sixth Year in Administration from Fairfield University. As a teacher Pia was a mentor to students and teachers alike.
A few years ago Pia wanted to continue to help students and decided to set up a scholarship at Amity High School in Woodbridge. Because of her love of English, the Pia DelPiano English Award is presented each year to a graduating senior who attended the Orange Elementary Schools. Rather than the highest grade, the qualifications for the award are the recipient’s “hard work, enthusiasm, and the progress” made in English during his/her high school years.
She asked that we publish this poem, which she wanted to share with all who knew her upon her passing; we do not know the author.
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path he laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard the call;
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found that place at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah yes, these things too I will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full; I’ve savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me–
He wanted me now; he has set me Free.
We would like to thank all the people, friends, nurses, doctors, and especially her two caretakers, who helped make her life in the last few years more enjoyable. Thank you all so much for taking care of our strength.
Wife, Mom, Lolly, Gramma, Friend, Mentor, Teacher, Pia will be missed as much as she was loved. She has asked that in lieu of flowers friends donate to the Amity Regional High School Scholarship Fund~Pia DelPiano Award, 25 Newton Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525, Attn. Finance Dept. If you would prefer, a donation may be given in her name to the Hospice Wing at Masonicare in Wallingford, CT. Services were private.