Wolcott – Mrs. Marie A. (Valerio) Richmond, 90, passed away after a brief illness on Friday evening, October 2, peacefully at her home. She was surrounded by her adoring family and treasured dog Maggie. She was the wife of proud Navy veteran, Richard R. Richmond.
Marie was born on May 8, 1930 in Waterbury, where she was raised by her beloved parents, the late Nicholas and Mary (Wolcott) Valerio. She was the sister of Nicholas Valerio and Rosemary (Valerio) Duncan of Florida, and to the late Ruth Valerio of Ohio. Marie attended local Waterbury schools and graduated with honors at Wilby High School. She was a proud member of the Civil Air Patrol. Marie worked at several department stores including G. Fox & Co., Trim Fashions and at her family’s business, the original Orchid Florist on Chase Avenue in Waterbury.
In addition to her husband Richard, brother Nicholas, and sister Rosemary, Marie is survived by her daughter Terri Lee Badum, Terri’s husband Rudolph Badum, and “her boys,” grandsons Christopher, Sean, Mark, and his husband Nicholas. She is also survived by her cherished dog, Maggie.
Her husband, Richard, known as Dick to all, stood faithfully by her side for 69 fantastic years of marriage. Their love story is filled with long car rides with the dogs to see the fall foliage, trips to the Norman Rockwell Museum (their favorite artist), and quiet evenings sitting out on their porch reading. Dick said “69 years wasn’t long enough. I wish we could do it all again.”
Marie modeled her faith on the life and teachings of Saint Francis. She was a devoted nature and animal lover, and never passed up an opportunity to care for any creature, no matter how big or small, that crossed her path. She made her property a refuge for birds, who made homes and raised families in the many bird houses she placed in her elegantly pruned and flower filled gardens. Her dogs were one of the great joys of her life. Maggie, and the late Zoey, Daisy, and D.G. all loved her as much as she loved them. Marie drank her morning tea out of a mug that proclaimed she was a “Dog Lover.” She supported many charities that improved the lives of animals, as well as the Boys Town Organization.
Marie was known for her endless, youthful energy. Marie always had a project. She was a creative, and multi-talented maker of things: crocheted blankets and scarves, curtains, Halloween costumes for her boys, flower arrangements, and dolls. Her grandson Mark remembers working on his 6th grade Italian History project with her. Marie was intensely proud of her Italian heritage. Together they created an elaborate diorama of the canals of Venice, with handcrafted moats, sculpted gondolas, and tiny, twinkling lights in each miniature window.
Marie’s cheesecakes and lasagnas were legendary, and were sought after by everyone who had been lucky enough to taste them. She enjoyed decorating her home for every holiday, but especially every Christmas, which was her favorite time of year.
She will be missed for her welcoming spirit, enormous heart, constant warmth, long phone calls, and beautifully handwritten, heartfelt, letters and cards celebrating every occasion. Marie loved to take your hand and hold it, a pure, sweet symbol of how much you meant to her. Marie was truly a wonderful person. To quote her husband’s constant refrain “They don’t make women like her anymore.”