Dorothy DeVito Malerba (90) of Woodbridge, CT, died peacefully on Monday, September 6, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on February 10, 1931, to Clorinda Mastroianni and Gelsomino “James” DeVito. Dottie will be lovingly remembered by her 6 children, 14 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bob, and eight of her nine siblings -- Regalina DeRosa, Rosario “Ray” DeVito, Libby Signore, Frank DeVito, Joseph DeVito, Carmela DeVito, Anthony “Chick” DeVito, and Dolores “Babe” Pavlovich.
Dottie met the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Malerba (May 1928 – January 1995) on a blind date set up by her younger sister, Babe. She was 18 when they met and 21 when they married in April 1952.
She graduated from New Haven High School in 1949 with a goal to be a perfect wife and loving mother. And a perfect wife and loving mother she was. Her 6 children include, Joan Malerba-Foran who lived with her for many years in the family home in Woodbridge, CT, James J. Malerba (Barbara Hanner) of Wellington, FL, Robert P. Malerba (Elisa Hutchinson) of St. Augustine, FL, John J. Malerba (Debbie Coe) of Simpsonville, SC, Barbara Malerba Ahern (Andrew) of Woodbridge, CT, and Mary Malerba DeLorenzo (Dennis) of East Hartland, CT. She had 27 grand and great grandchildren, all who loved her as a mother.
She is also survived by her sister Anna “T’Anna” DeVito Adamovich and 18 nieces and nephews as well as their spouses, partners and their many children and grandchildren.
Dottie was loved by all and could always be counted on to listen and comfort. Dottie was full of life, sweet, happy, loving, caring and a little mischievous. She always had a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye and was ready to simply listen and comfort. Much like her idol, Lucille Ball, she was “courageous, talented and funny” and maybe the world’s second most loved redhead. She is quoted as saying, “no one, even me, knows what the real color of my hair is.”
Dottie was a stay-at-home Mom as her six kids grew up in Woodbridge. She was a great cook and is famous for her lasagna, her Easter bread, and the pot of red sauce simmering on the stovetop filled with her famous meatballs and sausages. One would guess that half of Amity High was fed from that pot over the years.
After the kids were out of school, Dottie began work with the Knights of Columbus in New Haven and had the opportunity to meet Mother Theresa of Calcutta, a woman she loved and respected, when she visited the K of C in 1988.
She loved bowling with friends, both 10 pin and Wii. She starred and danced in, among others, the Amity PTA’s 1962 production of “Guys and Dolls”. Much of her life was devoted to giving and volunteering and she received numerous Good Samaritan awards. An avid Red Sox and UConn Huskies woman’s basketball fan, she loved to watch her favorite teams play.
Dottie was a life-long parishioner of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Woodbridge. She and Bob were the first to be married upstairs in the newly dedicated Little Church Chapel on Litchfield Turnpike in April 1952.
The family will hold a private wake. Friends are invited to celebrate Dottie’s life at a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 85 Center Road in Woodbridge, on Thursday, September 9th at Noon. Burial in East Side Cemetery in Woodbridge will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dottie’s memory to The Columbus House, 586 Ella T. Grasso Blvd., New Haven, CT 06519.
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