Wednesday, September 30, 2009

If you doubted obits are a-changin' ...

"North Stonington - Vilma Justine Carocari, daughter of Noah R. Carocari and Aristea Baruffaldi Carocari was born on May 25, 1931, and passed Sept. 27, 2009.

"So long everybody! I'm headed for a new adventure. If I can figure out the trick, I'll send back a post card, or something. In any case, stay alert, be on the lookout.

"I wish I could have lingered a little longer because I really didn't get to finish the "to do" stuff on my life list. But I did put quite a dent in it. I started out by arriving here on Earth right in the middle of the Great Depression, later followed by the incredible experience of World War II. As a kid, I lovingly raised a passel of beautiful little animals, and throughout my life helped many animals in the wild regain their freedom and their health; proudly owned a great, branded western work horse named Toby; learned and loved to operate not only automobiles but also trucks, buses, snow plows and earth moving equipment; graduated from the University of Connecticut (and still root for our great UConn teams); in the late 40s, drove with a couple of college buddies in my 1930 Model A Roadster all the way to Niagara Falls - WOW!; proudly worked for the U.S. government in magnificent Washington D.C. for about seven years; motored around the breathtaking Gaspe Peninsula with my sister, Noemi, in my old Jeepster; sailed the great Atlantic in the wonderful old cruise ships Maasdam and Leonard da Vinci and spent a couple of years in Europe, including visiting the beautiful Italian Dolomite mountain valley where my father was born; drove the old Jeepster coast to coast all around the U.S. taking in all the sights; participated in numerous camping horseback trail rides in our spectacular Rocky Mountains; played out my "Jack London fantasies" by learning to drive sled dogs across the frozen Alaskan wilderness, in the dead of winter (and brought home a one month old baby sled dog for a souvenir - better than a picture place!); spent some time traveling the Far East; became a teacher for 29 years in the town of Stonington; sailed to the exact location where the Titanic met its doom and paid my respects while floating there above its remains; traveled to the Canadian Arctic and Greenland with my great niece, Nizhoni, where we encountered polar bears in the wild, up close and personal, and glided, touching close, among breathtaking, gigantic icebergs; became a long time season ticket holder of the New England Patriots (and made it to three Super Bowls, all in New Orleans, including our first S.B. win); reveled in photographic activities my entire life; and yes, fulfilled a lifelong passion by learning to fly, especially those tired old World War II planes (like me). Except for the stinging sadness of losing so many beloved people along the way, all in all, I had quite a run!

"So, I wish good luck, happy and rewarding life, and love to all my friends and relatives, most especially much love to my niece, Vilma Gregoropoulos, my great niece, Nizhoni Brown, and my great nephew, Noah Brown. Without these three, the quality of the last years of my life would not have been possible. And special thanks and love to my cousin, Joanne Fontanella who always stood ready to help and never turned me down. Ciao, tutti!!

"If you would like to honor my memory, while simultaneously helping my marvelous, beloved little hometown, please send a contribution to the North Stonington Grange or to the Wheeler School and Library, where I was once a high school student. Thank you."

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