RUTLAND TOWN — Elsie Romano, age 76, passed away on October 23, 2012, at the Special Care Unit of the Meadows Assisted Living Residence in Rutland Town, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Elsie was born on December 27, 1935, in Bennington, Vt., the fifth of nine children born to Oliver and Mildred (Sanderson) Danforth Sr. She grew up mainly on the family farm just north of Poultney, and graduated from Poultney High school in 1953.
In 1955, Elsie married Anthony “Tony” Graziano Jr. and made a home with him in Castleton. They had four children, Anthony (1956), Teresa (1957), Perry (1958) and Mary Beth (1960). Elsie relayed many fond memories of her childhood to her own children, extolling the virtues of hard work and close family ties. She was a devoted mother, involving her children in many activities and encouraging varied interests.
She enjoyed cooking and became an excellent chef, delighting family and friends with her fine cuisine. In 1969, she and her husband built a new home in Rutland Town, and the family took up residence there later that year. Shortly thereafter, she began working outside the home as a bookkeeper/administrative assistant. She was successively employed by FA Tucker, the city of Rutland, and F.P. Elnicki Construction over the next 30 years. Elsie took a great deal of pride in her work, always striving to improve her skills and abilities. Following the tragic deaths of her son, Perry, in 1978 and daughter, Mary Beth, in 1980, Elsie and Tony separated and divorced.
She was eventually to marry Robert Romano, a man whom she came to refer to as her “forever best friend.” They initially made their home in Rutland Town, where they lavished attention upon and relished the company of their grandchildren. They enjoyed entertaining and their home was often a focal point for holidays and other familial celebrations.
Elsie was a member of St. Peter’s parish. Her faith gave her some solace in the difficult times. She set high standards for herself, and expected the same of those around her. Elsie had the personal strength and integrity to persevere in the face of her losses, and she was always there to support and console her extended family. She will be fondly remembered by the many whose lives she touched and deeply missed by those who knew her well.
Elsie is survived by: her son, Anthony “Tony” Graziano, and his wife, Erica Tamblini, of West Rutland; a brother, Oliver Danforth Jr., and his wife, Mary, of Rutland; two sisters, Gloria Howell of Arlington, and Ella Messer and her husband, Bill, of Rutland; five granddaughters, Kristine (Graziano) Reid and her husband, Graeme, of San Diego, Calif., Jacqueline Graziano of Tyson, Maria Graziano of Baltimore, Md., Samantha McLemore and her husband, JB Smith, of Baltimore, Md., and Jennifer McLemore and her husband, Tim Hammond, of Mendon; five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by: her husband, Robert Romano, in 2006; her son, Perry Graziano, in 1978; two daughters, Mary Beth Graziano in 1980, and Teresa (Graziano) McLemore in 2008; two brothers, Louis Danforth and Warren Danforth; and three sisters, Ida Baker, Barbara Partlow and Millie Ruby.
Family and friends may call at the Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland on Thursday, October 25, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A funeral service will be held at St. Peter’s Church on Friday, October 26, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery in Center Rutland.
Memorial contributions in her name may be made, in lieu of flowers, to the Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont, 300 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 128, Williston, VT 05495.