Sarah Jane (Marshall) Alissi, 86, of Simsbury, Connecticut, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 5, 2020 after a brief illness. Sarah was born April 24, 1934 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, to the late Robert Marshall and Ethel (Reynolds) Marshall. Sarah grew up on a dairy farm in Dover, Ohio, graduating from Dover High School in 1952, and then from Baldwin Wallace College in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Psychology. Sarah met her husband Albert S. Alissi at Alta House Social Settlement in Cleveland, Ohio, where they both worked as social workers. They married on November 18, 1961 and were happily married for 45 years until Al’s death in 2007. Early in their marriage, after having son Michael and daughter Amy, Sarah and Al moved their family to Simsbury, Connecticut. While raising her kids, Sarah was active in many sports including tennis, softball, golf, yoga, jogging, cross-country skiing, and bowling. She decided to further her education when her kids were older, and earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. Using her innate ability to listen and guide, Sarah helped many individuals and families in her capacity as a family therapist. Sarah was a true Boston Red Sox fan, and enjoyed many trips to Boston with her family to watch her team play. She was also a faithful fan of UConn Huskies Women’s Basketball, and notwithstanding her generally peaceful nature, would often get riled up during games. Sarah loved to read the newspaper, cover to cover, and was rarely without a novel in hand. A life-long Scrabble player, she was nearly impossible to beat.
Sarah lived life gently, filled with grace and love for family and dear friends. She treasured her time with her family, especially vacations at her home in Cape Cod. Above all, Sarah was fiercely devoted to her grandchildren. “Grammies” could often be found at their many sporting events, out for a shopping trip with Dina, to Moe’s Grill for lunch with Jack, or talking about sports with Danny. She adored them, and they, her.
Sarah had a deep but quiet faith from which she drew tremendous strength. She was unimposing and independent, always kind to whomever she met. Sarah was smart, and had a wonderful sense of humor, a quick smile, and an uncontrollable, belly-aching and infectious laugh. A patient and kind listener, she could provide thoughtful, wise advice for any problem, and a generous helping hand whenever needed. Her calming, steady presence and her wonderful laugh will be sorely missed.
Sarah is survived by her children, Michael Alissi and his wife Julie of Hamden, CT, and Amy Donofrio and her husband Louis of Simsbury, CT; grandchildren Dina Alissi, Danny Alissi, and Jack Donofrio; sisters-in-law Jo-anne Alissi of West Hartford, CT, Elena Warren of Newton, MA, Margaret Marshall of Mantua, UT, and Judy Marshall of Versailles, KY; and many treasured nieces, nephews, and life-long friends.
Besides her beloved husband Al, Sarah is predeceased by her brothers Robert Marshall and John Marshall, sister-in-law Lina Ferola, and brothers-in-law Joseph Alissi, Frank Ferola, and Russell Warren.
In keeping with Sarah’s wishes, there will be no calling hours, and a private graveside service will take place at Simsbury Cemetery. Sarah’s family wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the providers at The Residence at Brookside, UConn Health, and Seasons Hospice for their care and friendship.
In Sarah’s memory, and in lieu of flowers, we ask that you perform random acts of kindness, and never forget to laugh.
The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Sarah’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.