Theresa G. Vatalaro
1920 – 2009

ROCKLAND — Theresa Vatalaro died as she wished, in her own home, in her own bed, attended by her closest family on July 6.

She was born in Mexico, Feb. 3, 1920, the daughter of Stephen McPhee and Mary Casey. Raised in the Great Depression, she learned that survival is always a question of courage and wit. During the World War, she worked as an aide in Rumford Hospital and became widely known for her innate skills at caretaking.

Afterwards, she kept house for her husband, Anthony V. Vatalaro and together they were parents of Joanne G. Smith (now of Owls Head and wife of William B. Smith) and of Stephen “Steffy” Vatalaro (now of Blue Ridge, Ga.). Her house was always a favorite gathering place for her large family and many neighborhood friends. She was quick to volunteer help in time of need and a loyal member of her church. For many years, she and her husband enjoyed winters in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Other survivors include three grandsons and a granddaughter, Raphael Smith (married to Heather Crane and living in Boston), Gabriel Daisy Smith (of Raleigh, N.C.), Jesse Smith (married to Tracie Conners and living in Durham, ) and Jacob Smith of Portland. She loved having lived long enough to welcome two great-grandchildren, Caroline Theresa (now 7-years old) and Conner Stephen (now 2); she also leaves behind a special and loving friend Glenice, Russo; her two younger sisters, Rita Wyman and Barbara Fontaine will miss her greatly and so will Annie and Chris Chrissikos; her dear sister-in-law and brother-in-law; there are also many far-flung, loving nephews and nieces with fond memories of a good aunt.

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