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SOUTHBURY - Alberta M. Pichey, mother of six, a much-loved member of the Southbury community for more than 60 years, died on December 5, 2023. She and her husband Ray lived first in Personnel Village at the Southbury Training School, where he was Director of Social Services. When Ray began teaching at the UConn School of Social Work in 1962, they bought land in town. The Bette Brothers built the home where they raised Chris, Ann, Martha, Jean, Denise, and Andy. Other members of the family included dogs, cats, ducks, rabbits, sheep, horses, a screech owl, and two raccoons. For a brief time in the 70s, Alberta could be seen in the Southbury Food Center with Petunia the Duck riding in her shopping cart.
She was born In St. Louis, MO, in 1928. Alberta and her older brother Frank spent seven years in a German-Catholic Orphanage after their father was tragically killed; their mother could not afford to both work and keep them at home. After graduating from high school, Alberta met Ray at the Washington University School of Social Work, where she was secretary to the Dean.
She was a home room mother, and an AFS Family Host to Lila Del Re from Florence, Italy. She baked the best red velvet cake, lemon squares, German coffee cake, butterscotch brownies, and pineapple upside down cake. She served as a Justice of the Peace, officiating many local marriage ceremonies. We called her the town hugger, always happy to see friends in town. She'd leave cookies at the Town Hall and donuts at the Post Office. She was a proud Founding Member of Southbury Land Trust, an avid tennis player, and world traveler. She packed up the whole family for year-long sabbatical stints in London and Rome, astonishing customs officers with her extensive packing lists for each steamer trunk.
She made beautiful quilts for her grandchildren, and taught the art to others. She sewed cushions, curtains, and a new outfit for each of us to start the school year. She knitted countless sweaters, made customized t-shirts, and sold beautiful cards by Alberta Peaches. Our mom also had a curious fascination with armadillos.
Our generous, kind, and positive mom remained at home until a brief stay in the hospital. She is survived by her six children, and nine grandchildren: Janine, Adriano, Alessandro, Rafi, Benji, Mosie, Alex, Margot, and Cody, and her great grandson Numa.
Her family will receive friends and visitors on Sunday, December 10th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Daily Chapel of Sacred Heart Church in Southbury. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, December 11th at Sacred Heart Church at 10:30 am with interment to follow in Pine Hill Cemetery. The Carpino Funeral Home of Southbury has been entrusted with arrangements.
Donations can be made in her name to Southbury Land Trust: southburylandtrust.org/donate or checks can be sent to: P.O. Box 600, Southbury, CT, 06488. To leave a message of remembrance, please visit www.CarpinoCares.com.
Southbury Land Trust
P.O. Box 600, Southbury CT 06488