NAUGATUCK – Maria Rosa (Marcello) Rafael, age 91, of Naugatuck, passed away peacefully on Jan. 19, 2021, in the VITAS Inpatient Hospice Unit at Saint Mary’s Hospital. She was the beloved wife of the late Orlando Lopes Rafael.
Maria was born on Jan. 9, 1930, in Gouveia, Portugal, a daughter of the late Joseph and Candida Respeita (Bellino) Marcello. She was educated in Portugal. Before her retirement, she worked at Uniroyal in the Footwear Division for 30 years, and after worked at the Southbury Training School for 10 years.
Maria and Orlando spent summers traveling to their home in Gouveia. She was an active and instrumental member of Our Lady of Fatima Church, from its beginning in the basement of St. Francis Xavier Church and at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Naugatuck to its present-day location on Baldwin Street. She enjoyed gardening and clamming, and was an avid reader and an animal lover. She found her greatest joy spending time and cooking meals for her family, especially her Vovo rice. Maria’s last words to live by were “Live life and be happy.”
Maria leaves her son, Dr. Armando Rafael O.D. and his wife, Lorie, of Naugatuck; her daughter, Ana Paula Chessic and her husband, Darrin, of Naugatuck; her grandchildren, Rebekah Rose Chessic, Lauren Margaret Chessic, Arminda Marie Rafael, Justin and Elijah Ramos; her great-grandchildren, Chase Michael Manning and Carter Zyne Manning; a niece, Helena Klinowski; and a nephew, George Guerreiro. She was predeceased by a great-grandson, Jaxon Manning, and a brother, Anthony Marcello.
Arrangements: Funeral 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, directly at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 2071 Baldwin St. The family will greet everyone from 9:15 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery in Naugatuck. There are no calling hours. Chase Parkway Memorial/The Albini Family Funeral Home, 430 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, Conn., has been entrusted with her arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Our Lady of Fatima Church, 2071 Baldwin St., Waterbury, CT 06706; or Brass City Rescue Alliance, 2 Service Road, Middlebury, CT 06762.
For more information, or to send e-condolences, visit chaseparkwaymemorial. com.