Catherine A. (“Cathe”, pronounced Cathy) Romanelli, 87, died October 29th, 2013 at Good Shepherd Nursing and Rehabilitation Home in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Catherine Anna Probst was born November 15th, 1925 in Maspeth (Queens), New York, the middle child of nine. She loved music and literature and graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in 1942. She was working and starting college when she met Joseph A. (“Hoagy”) Romanelli, a pianist, at a musical gathering, and married him on July 2nd, 1949.
Unable to find suitable housing in New York City, they moved to Merrick, Long Island, which was their home for many years, and where they raised three children. Catherine continued her pursuit of higher education by taking advantage of the ACE Program at Queens College, receiving her Bachelor’s in English and Master’s of Library Science. She became the head children’s librarian at Levittown Public Library and then the Director of the Farmingdale Public Library, ending her career as the Director of the Sachem Public Library in Holbrook, New York, where she built a new library and outfitted it with the latest technology. After retirement she served for several years on the Library Board in North Merrick. She lived for a short time in Battery Park, Manhattan, and East Meadow, Long Island before moving to Jaffrey.
She was politically active and championed women’s issues and intellectual freedom, and was ahead of her time in the sixties and seventies as a well-educated career woman. As a librarian she enjoyed reading and kept a journal of the many books she read. She also enjoyed walking, gardening and world travel. She was also a world-class shopper!
Catherine is preceded in death by her parents, John and Katherina (Schmidt) Probst, her sisters Martha, Marion, Lillian and Muriel and brothers Leonard and Robert, as well as her husband, “Hoagy.”
She leaves behind her son Mark Romanelli and daughter-in-law Julia Romanelli of Lexington, KY; son and daughter-in-law Joel and Karen Romanelli of Vancouver, WA and daughter and son-in-law Janet and Paul Renaud of Greenfield, NH; granddaughter Rachel Romanelli and partner Mike Taylor of Cincinnati, OH and grandson Jay Romanelli of Breckenridge, CO. She also leaves behind her sister, Arline, of Glasco, NY and brother Richard Probst and his wife, Fay, of Fairfax, VA as well as a number of nieces, nephews and cousins; notably her niece Anita Hayes, to whom she was particularly close, Anita’s husband Bill and their two children, as well as Paula and Bob Lariosa and their family, all of Long Island, Gary and Joanne Montalbano and their family, of Brooklyn, and many other family and friends.
The Romanelli and Renaud families would like especially to thank Good Shepherd Nursing Home and all the caring staff there.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations be made in Catherine’s name to the National Organization of Women (NOW) National Organization for Women, P.O. Box 1848 Merrifield, VA 22116-1848; Girls, Inc., 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005-3902: Planned Parenthood, 24 Pennacook St., Manchester, NH 03104; the ACLU, 18 Low Avenue, Concord, NH 03301 or the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.
In accordance with her wishes she will be cremated, and there will be no memorial service or funeral.