Obituary: Jean DeNunzio


Jean DeNunzio

Jean Ames DeNunzio of Riverside, CT died peacefully with her family by her side on Jan. 23, 2020 after a long illness. She was 86 years old.

Throughout their loving marriage of 65 years, Jean was the devoted wife of Ralph D. DeNunzio. They were true partners in every respect. Jean was the loving mother of three boys: David (Jocelyne) of Greenwich, CT; Peter of New York, NY; and Thomas (Suzanne) DeNunzio of Darien, CT. She cherished her eight grandchildren: Douglas, Christopher, Matthew, Sarah, Robert, Danielle, Elissa and Emily DeNunzio. She was a role model for her three nieces: Nancy Thevenet; Gail Newman Stewart and Susan Harragan Demarest. She was predeceased by her sister, Joan Ames Newman.

Born in Yonkers, NY, Jean was the daughter of Richard Frost Ames and Eliza Marie Ames. She graduated from Gorton High School and enrolled with the Class of 1955 in the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY, the first member of her family to attend college. She withdrew before graduation to marry Ralph and start their family, only to return to continue her studies and receive her undergraduate degree in Economics in 1980. She served for many years on the Board of Trustees of the College. At the time of her death, she was a Trustee Emerita. Her family recently endowed the Jean Ames DeNunzio Chair for Faculty Excellence to celebrate and sustain her relationship with the College.

Family always came first for Jean. Holidays in their homes were festive and happy.  Her children and grandchildren learned to ski while at their home in Stratton, Vt., where the family spent many New Year’s holidays. She was particularly proud of the home she and Ralph designed and built in Vero Beach, Fla., where for many years they hosted numerous family vacations. She also loved to travel and planned annual family trips to all parts of the world.

Jean and Ralph together saw each of their children attend Greenwich Country Day School, Deerfield Academy and Princeton University, and at each institution she was a familiar, passionate and proud participant at various parent and alumni events. She enthusiastically looked forward to every graduation, athletic contest or family gathering.

An active sportswoman with a particular love of the water, Jean (and Ralph) navigated numerous journeys together over many years on their boats, from the Caribbean to Maine, always returning to their home berth at the Riverside Yacht Club. Her love of boating was accompanied by a passion for golf later in her life. She was an active member in the ladies’ golf program at the Stanwich Club. A long-time resident of Riverside, CT, Jean loved her home and her community. She was an avid gardener and swam regularly as part of her fitness program. She was an active member of the Junior League of Greenwich, devoting many volunteer hours to Community Answers and other local causes.

Jean was a strong, independent and loving wife and partner. She will be dearly missed.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 31 Arch St., Greenwich. A funeral service celebrating her life will take place on Friday, Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich, 1 West Putnam Ave. Burial will be private.

The family would like to acknowledge the loving devotion and care provided to Jean during the last years of her life by her caregivers. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory are welcome to the College of Mount St. Vincent at mountsaintvincent.edu

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