Valerie A. Bartolacci, a resident of Upper Nyack, N.Y., and Laurel, Long Island, passed away Dec. 9, 2019, at the age of 80 following a brief illness.
Born Jan. 5, 1939, in St. Albans, Queens, she was the daughter of Harry and Florence Wissler.
Valerie attended Archbishop MacDonald High School in Brooklyn and SUNY/New Paltz, graduating with a degree in education. Valerie was a member of the Arethusa Sorority and worked as a second-grade teacher in Hempstead, N.Y.
Valerie met her husband of 55 years, A. Ralph Bartolacci, in New York City at the one and only Catholic Alumni event that Ralph attended. She informed Ralph that she was “geographically undesirable” because she lived out in Long Island and he lived in upstate New York. This did not deter Ralph, who wore out a brand new car visiting her.
Valerie and Ralph were passionate world travelers, having visited over 50 countries. A highlight of their life together was the years they lived in France and England with their three young children. During this time they often loaded the family into their blue Volvo station wagon to set off on a new adventure to East Germany, French or Swiss Alps, or perhaps Yugoslavia. There would be no itinerary or reservations, but simply the desire to explore and experience something new.
Valerie was a lifelong swimmer and especially loved doing laps in the Long Island Sound and Great Peconic Bay. She also served as first mate to Ralph on a series of motor boats that increased in size as the years went by. Passionate about the arts, Valerie enjoyed going to concerts, ballets and shows in all different venues, from village gazebos to Broadway and Lincoln Center. Inspired by her time in Europe, Valerie was a gourmet chef and a lifelong student of the French language. She had a deep love for animals, often doing pet therapy for those in need.
She is survived by her husband, Ralph; her brother, John Wissler (Jean) of Londonderry, N.H.; her three children, Susan Bartolacci Dahiya (Sandeep), Peter Bartolacci (Suzanne) and Gary Bartolacci (Heidi); and her eight grandchildren, Asha, Pria and Julian Dahiya; Anna and Brendan Bartolacci; and Abigail, Eliza and Matthew Bartolacci.
A funeral mass for Valerie was held at the Church of the Transfiguration in Tarrytown, N.Y., and she was laid to rest at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Cutchogue, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Valerie’s name to the Courtney Anne Diacont Memorial Foundation (courtneyscause.org) or to Maria Fareri’s Children’s Hospital (mariafarerichildrens.org/ways-to-give1).
This is a paid notice.