Inez N. Pesce (Caldara), of Torrington, slipped away peacefully on Monday, September 5, 2022, three days short of her 99th birthday, with a re-broadcast of the Old Timers Day game of her beloved Mets on the TV in the background. Born on September 8, 1923, in Eynon, PA, Inez was the daughter of the late Rigo and Lena (Aldini) Caldara. Growing up with her 3 sisters and brother, she graduated from Olyphant High School in 1940.
Because jobs were still scarce in Eynon, Inez left Pennsylvania and together with her older sister Ida, moved to CT, to live with family and found work at the Torrington Company. She met her future husband Alphonse A. Pesce at a dance, and they were married on June 1, 1946, after his return from serving overseas in the Army during WWII. They moved to Bantam, living in an apartment above the then Bantam Inn, where Al was a waiter. Together in 1951, they purchased a small luncheonette in the center of Bantam, which they expanded into a 5&10 when the shoe store that was next door closed. Eventually purchasing the adjacent grocery store, they integrated the businesses into the Bantam Super Market. Whether behind the dairy bar scooping ice cream, the lunch counter making sandwiches for the workers at Aerotherm, or running the register as she checked out local Bantam families and New Yorkers visiting Bantam Lake, Inez was always on her feet, with never a complaint. The store was the social center of the community, supporting every local charity and quietly assisting any Bantam family who may have fallen on hard times. Inez and Al bought the house right next door to the store and raised their three children at home and in the store, creating memories not only for their own family but for all those who lived and worked and grew up in Bantam during the ‘50s and ‘60s. The Bantam Supermarket was affiliated with Allied Grocers, who sponsored trips both near and far for their successful partners. Inez and Al always enjoyed traveling with the tours, especially their visit to Italy. Even after selling their business in 1969, Inez still had a connection to the store, sitting on the porch with Al, peeling 50-pound bags of potatoes for the deli potato salad, in what had become Big Value and remains a grocery store to this day.
For many years, Inez and Al wintered in Melbourne and then Palm Bay, Florida, graciously hosting visiting family and friends. Eventually they sold their home in Bantam, moving to a condo at Squire Hill in Torrington, in which Inez lived on her own, right up through June of this year. They were married for 57 years, until Al’s death in 2003.
Inez will forever be fondly remembered by anyone who enjoys one of her famous meatballs, the recipe for which she gladly shared, not leaving out a single ingredient, and by everyone who ever received a card from her. Making sure her’s was the first birthday card (always with a note tucked inside) that you received, was a great source of pride for her. To put her long lifetime in perspective, a child of the depression and member of the greatest generation, Inez both spoke on party line rotary telephones and participated in a ZOOM call with her sisters last year.
Inez is survived by many loving family members including her daughters Nancy Langevin of Torrington, Valerie Scheidt of Palm Bay, FL, and her son, Gerry Pesce and his wife Laurene (McCaffrey) also of Torrington; her grandchildren Alix and Adam Scheidt of Longmont, CO, Sherry Kizzia and Benjamin Pesce of Torrington, and Kate Pesce Smith (Jason) of New Hartford; and her beloved great-grandchildren Ella, Maya and Jack Smith. Her surviving siblings are Ida Comprini of Tomball, TX, Irma Hart of Glastonbury, Rita Knox (Tony) of Litchfield, and sister in laws Rita Caldara of Eynon, PA and Rose Pesce Zabbara of Winsted; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins all across the country. She was predeceased by her brother Hugo Caldara, and her sons in law, Michael Scheidt and Robert Langevin.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, September 17, 11:30 AM at The Shrine of Lourdes in Litchfield, 83 Montfort Road, Litchfield, CT. Calling hours will be 10:00 – 11:00 AM, Saturday the 17th, at Phalen Funeral Home, 285 Migeon Avenue, Torrington, CT.
As watching the Mass on TV at 10:00 AM was the anchor of Inez’s day, in lieu of flowers, we are asking that you please make a donation in support of the daily Mass to: ORTV,Inc., Office of Radio & Television, 15 Peach Orchard Road, Prospect, CT 06712-1052 or visit ortv.org . . online memorials www.phalenfuneral.com