BRIMFIELD - Elizabeth M. "Betty" (Shea) Ortona, 86 passed away peacefully surrounded by her children, loved ones, friends and neighbors in her home at Colonial Park, Brimfield, MA on August 26, 2019. She lost her husband, Luciano C. Ortona on August 27, 2001.
She leaves four children. Her eldest son Mark LaPete and his wife Patricia (Allen) LaPete with their 3 sons, Patrick LaPete and his wife Jennifer, Benjamin LaPete and his wife Jannine, and Nicholas LaPete.
Her second son, Phillip “Marty” LaPete and his sons Anthony and Matthew as well as Anthony’s wife Amanda and their children Serena and Ian.
Her daughter Kathleen “Kate” Kelley and her husband David Kelley of Palmer, and their 3 sons, Ken and his wife Crystal, Erick and his wife Golda, and Ryan Kelley, also of Palmer.
She leaves her youngest son, Luciano G. Ortona and his wife Karen (Richardson) Ortona of West Springfield, MA.
Betty was born in Worcester, MA, the oldest of five of the late George P. and Helen T. (Campbell) Shea. She is survived by the youngest of her four brothers, Michael P. Shea of Spencer, MA. She was predeceased by her other brothers, George A. “Red” Shea, John P. “Jack” Shea, and Mark “Billy” Shea.
She was a ‘stay-at-home Mom’ when that was the usual, while her children grew, then as we grew and left home, she kept working as a school bus driver, kitchen and cafeteria service at Tantasqua Regional High School then as a baker at Monson Developmental Center, Monson, MA, among many other tasks and activities she could keep busy with. She retired from her state job, but continued working part-time as a baker for Big-Y in Palmer for several years. She enjoyed traveling with Lu, in their retired years. She loved visiting with her close friends from Brimfield who moved away to Florida, returning there many times to celebrate life with them.
Betty was a commissioner for the Brimfield Housing Authority for most of the twenty years she lived in Colonial Park. She was an advocate for senior services, supporting the Brimfield Council on Aging Meals program and the volunteer senior transit service for which she was a driver for several years before she responsibly and remarkably relinquished her license to drive. She was an active town citizen, suggesting and supporting town improvements such as the ADA-designed and approved sidewalk and crosswalk project on Main St., Route 20, Brimfield, MA. She was proud of her contributions to the safety betterment to the town walkways.
There will be a community memorial gathering at the Colonial Park Community Center, 20 Colonial Park, Brimfield, MA 01010 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm on September 14, 2019.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Brimfield Council on Aging, PO Box 172, Brimfield, MA 01010.