Eleanor (Rae) DeFelice

April 21, 1919 ~ March 18, 2022 (age 102)


Eleanor Rae DeFelice, 102, passed away peacefully at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT March18th after a brief illness. Eleanor was born April 21st, 1919, the only child of Louis and Anna Rae of Ansonia, CT. Eleanor was a lifelong resident of Ansonia and saw many changes in town, from the days of horse and carriage to trollies and the automobile. She often talked about her time as a child, walking with her blind grandfather around the neighborhood near Nolan Field., and how the trolley would stop and the driver would visit them on the porch if the trolley was running early.

She was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church of Ansonia where she also taught Sunday School. In her later years she served as Treasurer. Eleanor was a lifetime member of the Rainbow Girls Olive Chapter #26, Order of the Eastern Star. She also served on the board of the Pine Grove Cemetery in Ansonia.

Eleanor’s 52 year career started as a bookkeeper and office manager for the Ansonia branch of the F.H. Newton Co. from1936-1939. In 1939, Mr. Cleary, the manager, purchased the Ansonia Branch with Eleanor’s help and he renamed the company Cleary Millwork.

After the flood of ’55, Eleanor told the story of how she and her coworkers walked in deep mud to her office to recover as much of the office paperwork as possible.

Cleary Millwork then moved to Howe Ave. in Shelton, CT where her career expanded. She loved her job and the people who worked there. In 1977, Mr. Cleary and Eleanor worked on the sale of the business to new owners and Clearly Millwork moved to Rocky Hill, CT. She commuted there daily until her retirement in 1988.

It was in Rocky Hill that Eleanor and John DeFelice met. At the age of 65, she and John got married. They had an amazing life with trips, family gatherings and dancing. Eleanor quickly became part of a very large family and both were very happy to together for 15 years until John passed away. She was the most amazing caregiver and wife.

Eleanor was able to stay at home in her later years with the help of her faithful caregivers Tammy, Blossom and Betty. She was always comfortable, entertained and kept busy.

Though it is a loss to have such a wonderful person leave this life she gave so many people joy, wonderful memories and stories especially her children Rosemary Woundy (Bruce) of Simpsonville, SC;  John DeFelice Jr (Gwen) of Presque Isle, ME; Mary Jo Reiss (Marty) of Northbridge, MA and Martin DeFelice of Southington, CT.. She also leaves countless grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. She was predeceased by John’s daughter Nancy Ann Fletcher and son Joseph DeFelice.

Calling hours are Friday, March 25th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Jenkins King & Malerba Funeral Home, 12 Franklin St. Ansonia, CT. Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 26th at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home followed by her internment at the Pine Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Eleanor Rae DeFelice Fund, C/O The Valley Community Foundation, Inc. 253-A Elizabeth Street, Derby CT 06418.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eleanor, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
March 26, 2022

10:00 AM
Jenkins-King & Malerba Funeral Home
12 Franklin St.
Ansonia, CT 06401

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