Sandra Ann (Stefan) Perlini’s beloved wife, mother, Grammie, relative and friend, passed away on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the age of 77 after a long battle with cancer. Born July 7, 1944 in Lawrence, MA, she was the daughter of the late Edward and Helen (Earl) Stefan. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Ernest L. Perlini, their three children and their husbands, Steven and Susan Perlini, Allyson and Matt Teel, Melissa and Nick Mesite, along with grandchildren Michael, Jackson, Hailey, Olivia, Sloane, Hannah and Quinn. She is also survived by her sister, Linda O’Rouke of Milford, MA, and nieces/nephews in the New Hampshire area, as well as the extended Perlini family of sisters/brothers-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren. nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Marie Stefan, and her parents-in-law, Bruno and Nita Perlini. She graduated from Lawrence High School, Merrimack College with a BA in Mathematics Education and Salem State College with an MA in Mathematics. She completed advanced courses at CCSU, the University of Hartford and the University of New England. Sandy loved to teach. During her 43-year teaching career, she taught primarily math at Martin Kellogg and Newington High School, where she also served as Junior High Department Chair and later in the Gifted and Talented Program. Her classes were always focused on teaching and adapting to the needs of the student. She helped write the curriculum, develop measurement standards, and design units of study to encourage student learning. She was respected by students who often commented on their enjoyment of her class. Students always commented on her dress. She kept a calendar of what she wore to school each day to avoid repetition. She enjoyed sponsoring after-school activities and attending school dances. She was proud to tell her students that she had their parents in the class years ago. Sandy was active in Alpha Delta Kappa, a sorority for women educators interested in community service. Sandy was a true professional. Sandy was most proud of being a “mother”, which was her top priority. She took a short leave of absence from teaching to be at home full time for each child during their early years and for many years gave only part time to balance work and private life. She was very proud of her children who graduated from Newington High School and attended the university of their choice. During the children’s growing years, she provided CCD for each child, arranged transportation to sports, dance, music lessons, guided excursions, planned visits with friends, went to school activities and sporting events. She taught everyone how to ride a bike, ski, do homework and encouraged good decision-making and independence. School was always a priority as she attended every parent conference, supporting education in reading, math, organizational skills, writing and more. She always celebrated the achievement and improvement of her children. Sandy led by example as the children looked at her correct papers, planned lessons, read often, and practiced things to achieve personal improvement. She was proud of all three children and often told them as they grew up. Today, she is very proud of the adults they have become and of the family values they instill for her seven grandchildren. Friends have always been a part of her life. She still keeps in touch with her high school and college friends in Massachusetts. Newington has been her home for over 50 years. Many of her teaching colleagues and people she met during activities involving the children have become close personal friends. She always enjoyed lunches, dinners, golf, bowling, casino, shopping, cards, travel and talking with so many of her friends. She knew life was getting harder for her and always appreciated their support and continued presence. Point O’ Woods Beach has been her second home for nearly 50 years. Children were raised on the beach all summers and weekends in the fall and spring. Sandy has many beach friends. From her special chair on the porch she could watch the world go by. She used to spend hours at the beach and recently she rode the golf cart to visit old friends and meet new ones. Sandy loved partying on the beach and the many activities of the Woman’s Club. The beach house has been the meeting place for family and friends for years. Fort Lauderdale was another great getaway while she was still at work, becoming her winter home after her retirement. She enjoyed escaping the cold, entertaining friends, dining and just watching the water full time. She met many new friends through her knitting hobby, making things for many people and donating things to the church. Game Show Channel was a must wherever she lived. Sandy was a real fighter. Fighting cancer for 14 years, 13 of which were stage 4 metastatic cancer. Cancer slowed everything down, but Sandy still managed family, friends, and travel. During these years, she celebrated all three of her children’s weddings and welcomed her seven grandchildren into the world. Sandy and Ernie knew how blessed they were to have such a wonderful family and wonderful friends. While Sandy’s life has been short in many ways, it has allowed her to leave many lasting footprints in everything that was part of her life. Sandy did her best to beat cancer. She wishes that the others she loved and who are battling cancer would never give up hope. Sandy supported many special charities, including volunteering with the Red Cross and participating in the Newington Relay For Life Cancer Walk. One charity that stands out with a mission that is important to the Perlini family is The Cancer Couch Foundation. 100% of their donations go to metastatic breast cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Commemorative donations in memory of Sandy can be made to The Cancer Couch Foundation, PO Box 1145, Southport, CT 06890 or www.thecancercouch.com. Relatives and friends are invited to call the Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Newington Memorial, 20 Bonair Ave., Newington on Friday, September 3, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Her funeral service will begin on Saturday, September 4, 2021 with a Christian funeral at 10:00 a.m. directly at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 183 Church St., Newington, where she has been a member for many years. She will be buried in West Meadow Cemetery in Newington. To share a condolence or memory with her family, visit us at www.duksa.net.
Published by Hartford Courant on August 30, 2021.