Our dearest mother, Dorothy Bellizzi sadly passed away peacefully on August 30th, at the age of 97. She was a wonderful mother who lit up the room at every event with her warm smile and cheerful personality, particularly with her DonAroma family that numbered well over 100. She had many friends and was a well-loved member of the Deaf community. Those that knew her were touched by her gentle spirit and kind demeanor that welcomed everyone with open arms.
Dorothy was born in 1926 and attended the American School for the Deaf (ASD). While in pre-school, the executive director of ASD, Dr. Edmund Boatner asked her parents, Pasquale and Philomena, if she could stay with him and his wife temporarily so they could immerse her in the language of American Sign Language (ASL). Since Dorothy’s parents spoke mainly Italian at home, her parents agreed. Dorothy developed her skills throughout her years at ASD as a very expressive and exceptional communicator. Years later she competed in the Ms. Deaf Senior Citizen competition at ASD and won! It was her sense of humor along with her beauty of ASL expression that made her stand out. There is a video archived at ASD of Dorothy telling her story of growing up at a school for the Deaf that paints an awe-inspiring picture of her years at ASD.
Following Dorothy’s retirement, she devoted her time to volunteerism. She worked for many years at Stanley Works in New Britain before she became a very active member of the Deaf community. She was involved in the Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf (CCOSD) where she and her sister Anna were well known for their activities within the Deaf community as well as their great pasta dishes. She also volunteered at ASD where she taught religious education and on Sundays often interpreted catholic services for her beloved Father Bergin and Sister Maura. Dorothy was faithful to the Lord while prayers to the Blessed Mother brought her comfort.
Dorothy is survived by her daughter Donna, son Andrew and his wife Joann, grandchildren Rosa and Drew and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her husband Andrew J Bellizzi, her daughter in-law Lisa Morelli, her son in-law Jesus Fernandez, as well as 15 siblings and their spouses.