Obituary: Irene A. Massagli, 89, of Ridgefield

Irene A. (Bilasz) Massagli, 89, of Ridgefield, CT, passed away on March 4, 2018. She was born November 12, 1928 in the Bronx, NY to the late Michael and Anna (Duell) Bilasz. She was predeceased by her husband Italo (Pete) Massagli and her brother William Bilasz.

Irene grew up in the Bronx during the Great Depression and spent summers on her grandparents’ farm in upstate New York. Cheese was one of the farm products her grandfather generated and even as an adult, Irene would always laugh telling stories of her brother Bill annoying everyone by eating stinky homemade limburger cheese in close quarters. Following high school, she worked for the Revere Copper and Brass Company in Rome, NY. She went on to earn an associate’s degree in dental hygiene from SUNY Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences and while working in dental practice, caught the eye of a guy with nice teeth, Pete Massagli.

Irene and Pete married in 1953 and they enjoyed more than 62 years together until Pete’s death in 2015. They moved to Ridgefield in 1961 where they raised their four children and spent their time deeply engaged in the Ridgefield community.

Irene was a before-her-time recycler, and enjoyed gardening, bird watching, reading and volunteering. Irene shared her expertise and time with The Girl Scouts, the Ridgefield voting stations, American Red Cross, Ridgefield VNA, RUOK, and OWLS. She was recently the treasurer for the OWLs. She and Pete founded the Ridgefield Chapter 4852 of AARP. During over a decade of service, Irene served as President, Vice President, Director, Secretary and Founding Member of the AARP chapter. Irene was a great travel planner and organized multiple group and personal trips with Pete. They loved traveling to cities, gardens, and shrines in the New England area, to national parks in the West, and to Greece, Italy, England, Germany, the Panama Canal, and Israel.

Irene is survived by her children Michael (Linda Bonell) of Cambridge, MA, Teresa (Fred Drennan) of Woodinville, WA, Nancy Freeda (Thomas) of New Fairfield, CT, and Matthew of Manchester, CT. She instilled in them her values in recycling, gardening, reading, traveling, volunteering and her love of dogs. She will be missed by her beloved dog, Gemma.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 10:15 AM, at St. Mary Church, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Interment will take place in the Spring at St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield. Friends will be received on Thursday, March 8, 2018, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.

The family suggests that those who desire to make memorial donations in remembrance of Irene do so by sharing their time and presence with their favorite charity.