Helen C. Alberi

01/18/2011 3:45 PM |

Helen C. Alberi of Southold and Ramsey, N.J., died Jan. 12 at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J. She was 88.

She was born July 23, 1922, in Mount Vernon, N.Y., to Louis and Palmyra (del Principe) Lisella, who had immigrated from Italy. Her father was a successful builder whose business went under during the Great Depression, and the family suffered financial hardship until he was able to find success in another venture. She graduated from high school in 1940, met her husband, Americo Alberi, and moved to Garden City, where she worked for many years as an office manager for several physicians.

Family members said she was very determined to provide her children with every educational and cultural opportunity, and both ultimately earned doctorates.

Ms. Alberi and her husband retired to Southold in the 1970s, where they designed and built a house on Paradise Point Road. According to family, she loved interior design and decoration and created an elaborate interior for her home in the Williamsburg tradition. An expert embroiderer, she was a founding member of the Embroiderers Guild of America, Peconic Bay Chapter. Relatives said she made many gifts of her embroidery and needlepoint to family and friends and enjoyed exhibiting her work.

Family remember her as very smart, pragmatic, generous and enthusiastic. She enjoyed cooking Italian food and loved to spend time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Predeceased by her husband in 1996, Ms. Alberi is survived by her daughter, Mary Pinker of Ramsey, N.J.; her son, James, of Holmdel, N.J.; her sister, Theresa Torrisi of Rockport, Mass.; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours were held Jan. 16 at Coster Heppner Funeral Home in Southold. A service took place Jan. 17 at St. Patrick R.C. Church in Southold. Interment followed at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale. Memorial donations to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10065 would be appreciated.