Theodora (Podesta) Farrell died peacefully on December 16, 2019.
She was predeceased by her immigrant parents Giovanni Podesta and Anastasia Farfarana, her brothers Aldo and Constantino, and her husband of 43 years, John (‘Jack’).
Theodora is survived by her four devoted daughters Christine McCabe, Regina (John) Angerame, Andrea Paxton, Loretta (Michael) Kuhland. Theodora was proud of her grandchildren Jennifer and Drew McCabe, Regina (Seth) Gazes, Carolyn Paxton, John and Nicholas Angerame, and beloved by her great grandchildren Zachary, Haley, Serena, Nolen, Aria, Phoenix, Dominic, Dora, and Harry.
Theodora was a woman of strong faith. She was a loving wife, devoted daughter, mother, sister, cousin, aunt, in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend.
Our mother was an amazing, exceptional woman and quite the trailblazer for her generation. Theodora grew up in the Bronx (NYC), attended Cathedral High School, then graduated from Hunter College with a degree in chemistry. She began her career as a chemist for Good Housekeeping, took a break for 12 years to be our full-time mother, then followed a new passion as a teacher. Earning her Masters in Special Education (while teaching full time and raising her four girls), she devoted her new career to special-ed kindergarten, retiring as a teacher trainer. She won the Teach of the Year award from the Bronx Organization for the Learning Disabled.
She was an active member of many professional and community organizations and committees during her life - e.g., the National Organization of Italian-American Educations, the Forum of Italian-American Educators, the Cathedral High School Reunion committee. She volunteered at a nursing home & with Mended Hearts; she organized dancing groups, became an active member of the Catholic Daughters, a widow and widower’s group, St. Lawrence O’Toole Seniors, the Italian-American Ladies.
In retirement she left the Bronx for Brewster, NY where she built a life, and a new circle of friends and activities.
Our mother was a smart, thoughtful, funny, clever, optimistic, inquisitive, giving woman, friend to many, lover of life and open to experiencing new and different ideas, food, people, activities. One of a kind! She will be missed.
Services will be at Beecher Funeral Home in Brewster, NY Thursday, December 19, 2019 from 2:00 to 4:00pm and 7:00 to 9:00pm. Mass at St. Lawrence O’Toole on Friday, December 20, 2019 at 11:00am. In honor of our mother, in lieu of flowers, donations to St. Lawrence O’Toole’s Renovation Fund, Danbury Hospital Pastoral Care, or Cathedral High School are welcome.