Viola Bellucci Sestito, 93, of Rome, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 21, 2017 at home with her loving family by her side.
She was born in Mahopac (Putnam County) NY on August 29, 1923, the daughter of Antonio and Maria Pucci Bellucci. She was educated in the Mahopac Central Schools and graduated high school in 1941. She then attended New York University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education in 1945. She moved to Rome in 1946 and was employed by the Rome City School District as a Physical Education teacher for over 32 years, where she was lovingly referred to by numerous Phys Ed colleagues as Coach Sestito. She attended Utica College and received her accreditation as a New York State Certified Teacher.
On July 4, 1946 she married Fred P. Sestito, a union lasting almost 50 years until Fred’s passing in 2006. She is survived by her beloved family, two daughters, Mary Jane Sestito O’Neill of Charleston, SC and Paula Sestito of Rome; two sons and daughters-in-law, Fred and Gloria Sestito of St. Petersburg, FL and Peter and Julie Sestito of Rome; cherished grandchildren, Mary Elizabeth O’Neill of Chicago, Kathleen Thomas of Charleston, SC, Thomas Sestito, Timothy Sestito, Joseph Sestito, Matthew Morse, Victoria Sestito and Jack Sestito all of Rome; six great- grandchildren, Kari Narayan, Sloane Sestito, Jude Sestito, Michael Thomas, Tea Narayan and Killian Sestito. She was predeceased by a sister, Aida Kersh and two brothers, Anthony and Joseph Bellucci.
Viola was a true jock and not just from her education and career in Phys Ed. She loved and excelled at golf and tennis and played both into her 80’s. She enjoyed a wide circle of friends through her love of sports and also from playing bridge with a diverse group of individuals from the Ava Dorfman Senior Citizens Center and other social circles. She and Fred loved to travel and were fortunate enough to visit many parts of the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Brazil. Most of all she loved and cared for her children and their families.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Julie’s family, Robert and Janis Casler and their entire family and especially to her close friend, companion and “Gal Friday” Kelly Merrill.
Funeral services will be celebrated on Thursday morning at 11:00 in St. John the Baptist Church for a Mass of Christian Burial with the Rev. Joseph Sestito as celebrant. Interment will be in St. John’s Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call at the Church on Thursday from 10:00 to 11:00 prior to the Mass.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Viola’s memory to Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413. Envelopes will be available at the Church.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Bottini Funeral Home, 120 W. Embargo St.