May 10, 1946-March 8, 2021
BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Constance Marie Clemente Panzarella, 74, loving mother, grandmother and sister, passed away March 8, 2021, at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., from non-COVID related complications associated with chronic health conditions.
She was born May 10, 1946, in The Bronx, a daughter of the late Amadeo J. and Pauline E. Joslin Clemente. She was raised in The Bronx, Whitesboro and Waterville, NY and was a graduate of Waterville High School.
She attended Buffalo State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree and met Frank Blaise Panzarella Sr., whom she married on July 6, 1968, at St. Bernard’s Church in Waterville.
They lived in Buffalo for 17 years, where she taught elementary education in the Lackawanna school system and started their family, before relocating to New Jersey, where she worked for Aetna US Healthcare as an account representative and was a homemaker who helped raise three of her daughter’s children.
She later moved to Cooperstown, where she resided with her son’s family and enjoyed many years baking, playing games and creating lifelong memories with her grandchildren, who endearingly called her “Ninie.”
Connie was an incredibly loving, nurturing and deeply affectionate person who found joy in giving of herself to others. She was an excellent baker who especially loved baking cookies with her grandchildren. When she wasn’t in cookie or pie making mode, you could still often find her in the kitchen cooking and trying new recipes or making a big family meal to bring everyone together.
She loved music and dancing, whether in the kitchen or at a party, and became the legendary “Aunt Connie” at countless weddings and parties with her spunk and energy on the dance floor!
She treasured her collection of ornate porcelain dolls, was a history buff who loved to visit and explore historic sites, was a voracious reader, and recounted often her favorite music experience – seeing The Eagles in concert.
In 2017, she reunited with her high school sweetheart, Paul Gendron, sparking a renewed passion for life, and in 2018 moved to North Carolina, where they found immense joy together, traveling the region, spending time with friends, and caring for each other.
Surviving are her son and daughter-in-law, Frank and Jennifer Panzarella of Cooperstown; and daughter Maria Christine Panzarella of Runnemede, N.J.; grandchildren, Jordan Michelle, Gregory, Dante, Christopher, Emma, Frankie and Matthew; a sister, Joan C. (Mike) Wheeler of Rhinebeck; brothers, Arthur Clemente of Edgewater, N.J.; Paul E. (Joyce) Clemente of Southfield, Mich.; Emile L. (Linda) Clemente of Deer Park, L.I.; Robert A. (Deborah) Clemente of Doylestown, Pa.; plus many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Friends are invited to call from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, at the Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 210 E. Main St., Waterville, followed by a funeral service at 4 p.m. Interment will be private in St. Bernard’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers we ask donations be made in Connie’s name to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (www.stopsarcoidosis.com), a condition she valiantly battled for almost 20 years; or, to the Susquehanna SPCA (www.sqspca.org) in honor of her love for animals including her beloved dogs Honey and Annie.
To send a condolence and sign the Book of Memories online go to www.burgessandtedescofuneralhomes.com