Ethel Lucille Orfitelli was born on January 3, 1926 to Walter and Eva Platt Perrett, Sr., in New London, Connecticut. She joined three older brothers, Walter, William, G. Alton and shortly after her birth the family moved back to Manchester where she would be raised in the house on Woodbridge Street.
Ethel graduated from MHS in 1943, participating in the band, choir and Round Table Singers. During high school she worked at the luncheonette counter at Arthur Drugs and was often visited by her brother Bill’s handsome best friend, Mike Orfitelli. And he captured her heart.
Ethel enrolled at Willimantic State Teacher’s College after graduation and Mike joined the Navy and went off to war. They married in 1945 and eventually settled in Manchester to raise their family. In 1957, Ethel finished college, completing her student teaching all while juggling four children and the occasional 3rd shift at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. She would go on to teach in town for 30 years, four years in special education and then 26 years as a second grade teacher at Washington School.
At The Salvation Army in her teen years she started playing in the senior band on fluegelhorn when all the men went off to war. She attended Star Lake Music Camp. She sang in the songsters at various points in her life. When her girls were small, she took on the leadership of the corps Sunbeam troop. For many summers she was the craft director at Camp Nathan Hale.
In 1976 her beloved Mike passed away. She showed courage and grace in how she navigated being suddenly single. After her retirement from teaching Ethel split her time between Manchester, Clearwater, Florida and Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
Ethel loved to travel and enjoyed many adventures with friends and family. For her 90th birthday she opted not for a party, but to take her family on a cruise. She was an expert knitter who made beautiful baby blankets and sweaters and many have been the recipient of her talent.
She was the keeper of family records and knew all the complexities of the Perrett and Orfitelli family trees. Over the years she kept in touch with family members, former students and friends from college with cards, letters or more recently, Facebook.
In the last weeks of her life she was lovingly cared for by her youngest daughter, Sue Flynn. She leaves many who will cherish her memory and miss her dearly, friends and family- her children Linda Baker, Michael and Kathy Orfitelli, Patricia Orfitelli and Sue Flynn, her grandchildren, Angela Giupponi (Mark), Michael Orfitelli (Nicole), Erica Randall (Kevin), Nicholas Orfitelli (Ashley), Erin Flynn, Patrick Flynn (Julia), Kaitlyn Bourne (Scott), Shannon Flynn, Matt Baker (Monique), Andrew Baker (Melissa) and Mark Baker and her great-grandchildren, Landon Randall, Olivia Giupponi, Sophie Baker, Tripp Bourne, Ty Randall, Sebastian Orfitelli, Jaylyn Flynn, Josh Giupponi, Penelope Orfitelli, Kroy Randall, Lyla Baker, Jackson Flynn, Cameron Baker, and Jackson Baker.
She is home at last and reunited with the love of her life, Mike.
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