Bloomfield, Connecticut Ann Nicolle Rome (89), born in Hartford in 1932 and a resident of Bloomfield most of her life, passed away peacefully on November 18, 2021 at the Seabury retirement community in Bloomfield, surrounded by her four children, on the Wintonbury Avenue site of the former AC Petersen farm, just a few hundred yards from where, amid cornfields and woods, Ann first raised them. Ann herself had grown up in the heart of Bloomfield Center on Jerome Avenue, where the Wintonbury Mall is now located. She attended Center School and Bloomfield High School, where she graduated in 1950. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1954, along with her high school sweetheart and 34-year-old husband Lewis Rome with a Bachelor of Child Development from the School of Education. Ann became a home economics teacher, a student at Windsor High School, then public schools in Bourne, Massachusetts, Cape Cod, before settling in Bloomfield as a mother and housewife. A few years later, she fulfilled a schoolgirl dream shared with another UConn graduate, Lucy (Woodford) Wirsul, to start a nursery school with cows and chickens in an outhouse on the grounds of the Woodford Farm. , with affordable prices – $ 2.50 per child per week, or $ 3.00 per family. Many who attended still speak warmly of those days. Ann’s mother, Frances (Werth) Nicolle, was Irish and German and also had a background as an educator. The clues to Ann’s lifelong taste for learning and creative activities for children are found in her mother’s inclinations. The origins of Ann’s father were both French and English. Frank Nicolle’s father’s family were originally from the Channel Island of Guernsey (which Ann finally had the opportunity to visit in the 1980s, at her cousin and longtime correspondent, Jeanne Nicolle Bonnefin). On his mother’s side, an ancestor, Thomas White, is reputed to have been the first Massachusetts-born English pilgrim child aboard the Mayflower, just before it made landfall in Plymouth Winter Bay in 1620. During the Great Depression, Frank moved to Hartford after a job on the Maine Turnpike dried up, when he heard there was work in Connecticut. After a few years he started his own construction company at Bloomfield Center. As a high school student, Ann was outgoing and a leader in student government, and, along with her friend Catherine (D’Addeo) Williams, she enjoyed plenty of extracurricular activities. She especially enjoyed recounting her creation, along with Lois (Pinney) Poirot, of a vocal group called “The Hubba Hubba Girls” at Bloomfield High. Ann was also one of the founders of the Bloomfield Junior Fish & Game Club. As an adult, Ann enjoyed school and community events, concerts, plays, sports and more – as long as the kids were involved. There were his sons’ baseball or basketball games almost every night, followed by quick stops at Wurdig’s and a leadership role in launching Bloomfield Midget Football. Later, hundreds of more ball games, dance performances and concerts from his grandchildren came. Children were always, always Ann’s focus. Ann later came up with a new way to help new parents, especially new Americans, looking to live within their means by giving them baby clothes they already loved, picked up, cleaned and repaired by Ann – always completely free of charge. There was no institutional support for this initiative, it spontaneously took shape as Ann’s labor of love. Leaving her home, Ann finally rented a store on Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, to welcome the new mothers flocking to her, and she happily accepted the nickname “The Baby Lady”. Ann’s contributions to the daily life and moral education of her ten grandchildren will be a lasting legacy. With effaced grace, she lived a life of service to others, public and private. Ann’s outgoing personality made her a natural political activist at municipal, state and even national levels, but where she really blossomed was as a mother hen. When called, often on short notice, Ann would throw parties for family and friends by the hundreds at the family home. Ann leaves behind her four children: Thomas Rome from the Bronx, NY; Richard Rome (Joanne Kaplan Rome) of Potomac, MD; Deborah Rome Szabo (Ronald Szabo) of West Hartford, Connecticut; and David Rome (Stacy Silk Rome) from Farmington, Connecticut. She leaves behind a great-granddaughter, Gwendolyn, and nine grandchildren: Daniel Szabo, Mo Seck (Kate Skidmore), Rachel Rome (Carl Schmidt), Carrie Szabo Miller (Scott Miller), Karim Rome, Jack Rome, Sam Rome , Tiz Rome, and Isabelle Rome. A tenth beloved grandchild – Samantha Rome – has passed away before her. Ann was also predeceased by her parents and sisters, Patricia and Joan, and her brother Tom. She was also a loving aunt to her nieces and nephews Rome and Nicolle too numerous to list. Ann has resided in Seabury for the past 14 years, forming so many special bonds and reconnecting with longtime Bloomfield friends like Al Attardo, and enjoying the wonderful care and friendships with the team at Seabury-at-Home. The family is grateful to all Seabury and UConn Health employees for their kindness and compassion. May the memory of Anne be a blessing, may God receive her well in Heaven and restore her peace in her soul. Call hours at Molloy Funeral Home, West Hartford, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, November 21. Funeral service at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield, 1 p.m. Monday, November 22. In lieu of flowers, commemorative contributions to Ann’s name can be given to either: The Rick Rome School in Kurezi, Uganda, via https://partnersforkapteiorphans.org/, or “Partners for Kurezi Orphans Home, Inc.”, 1201 F Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004; or “Samantha Rome Nutmeg Scholarship Fund”, c / o UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06329, or via https://www.foundation.uconn.edu/.
Posted by Hartford Courant November 19-21, 2021.