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Nancy Baird Moretta - Class of 1966
Submitted by Pauline Rute Hall 1952 <Grammypgh@aol.com> on 30/Oct/2016
Nancy Baird Moretta, 68, passed away surrounded by her loving family at her home in Preston on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Nancy was born in 1948, in Cornwall, N.Y., to Elmer Shoemaker Baird and Elizabeth Wells Baird. As a child she lived in Buffalo, N.Y. and Newburgh, N.Y., where she graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in 1966. She was a descendant of Sarah Wells, the first European settler of Orange County, N.Y., and she briefly lived in one of the historic Bull Family homes, Hill-Hold, built in 1769, and now is a New York State Museum in Campbell Hall, N.Y. Nancy studied sociology and elementary education at Wilkes University, formerly Wilkes College, and graduated in 1970. During her time at Wilkes, she was an enthusiastic "groupie" for a college folk group called the Brandywine Trio, and soon fell in love with the lead singer, Thomas Ralph Moretta. The two were married in Newburgh, N.Y. in May of 1971, after Tom spent two years in the Dominican Republic serving in the Peace Corps. Nancy began her teaching career in Groton at Claude Chester Elementary School before moving with her husband to Yonkers, N.Y., where she taught at the Halstedt Private Elementary School from 1971 to 1973. The two soon moved back to Connecticut, however, where Nancy returned to Claude Chester and remained a devoted elementary school teacher until 2007. As a teacher, she was known for her warmth, her acceptance, and her ability to see each child as an individual. She was one of the first teachers in Connecticut to "loop" with a class, and made accommodations for students with special needs before this was a common practice in education. She welcomed students into her home, and shared heartfelt and mutual love and respect with the Claude Chester community she served so faithfully. Nancy lived in two different homes in Gales Ferry, where she and Tom raised two daughters, Allison and Kristin. Just before her retirement in 2007, she and Tom moved to their dream home on Amos Lake in Preston, where they spent many days enjoying their lake view with devoted family and friends. Nancy is survived by her husband, Thomas Moretta; her daughters, Alli Noonan of Plainville, Mass. and Kristin Baber of Vernon, their husbands, Mark Noonan and Nate Baber; and four grandchildren, Matthew and Ava Noonan and Josephine and Carson Baber; as well as cousins, Sarah and Amy Brookhart of Silver Spring, Md.; her maternal aunt, "A.G.," of Bethesda, Md.; cousin, Wells Duffy of Lynchburg, Va.; her sister-in-law, Marcia Pieratti; niece, Danielle Pieratti, along with Danielle's husband, Matthew Yelland and children, Luke and Alice; and brother-in-law, Steven Moretta. Yet Nancy's warmth, compassion, humility, and playful sense of humor inspired the love of the many more people whom she treated as family. Her uncommon and genuine thoughtfulness touched the lives of every person to whom she sent a loving card, an unexpected gift, or a cheerful phone message, or just graced with a heartfelt compliment and a warm smile. She was an avid shopper, a magnanimous gift-giver, a lover of books, quirky watches, and Christmas. Too humble to dwell on her status as a survivor of multiple bouts with cancer, Nancy's courage and grace inspired everyone who knew her. She is remembered in sorrow and with gratitude for a life that brought endless joy to others. She will be deeply missed. Relatives and friends are invited for visitation from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Leffler Funeral Home, 30 North Main St., Jewett City, with a memorial service beginning at 4 p.m. Memorial gift donations may be made to Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360.
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