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Marotto, Phyllis J.

October 8, 2012 by Ellen Jarus Hanley

Phyllis June (Sanford) Marotto, 85, of Cheshire, Conn., born on June 12, 1927 the daughter of the late William Sanford and Dorothy (Saunders) Sanford of Bethany, went to the loving arms of her Lord on October 4, 2012. Phyllis was born in Waterbury and grew up in Bethany and North Haven, and was schooled in the Bethany one-room schoolhouse and later at Hillhouse High in New Haven.

At age 17, Phyllis married Harry (Hap) Carmine Marotto of Hamden, traveled to accompany him during his military training in Missouri and saw him off as he was deployed first to Greenland and then Okinawa, serving the U.S. Army Signal Corps during WWII.

While growing up, Phyllis loved riding her horse or walking through the woods of Bethany. Early in her married life, she raised cocker spaniels and German Shepherds from the family home on Whitney Avenue in Mount Carmel. Phyllis and Harry begat Dorothea Virginia and Harry Carmine Jr. and together shared their lives for many years with family and their very special friends Eleanor and Fred Howe of Beacon Falls.

In 1961, they moved from their circa-1860 house in Hamden to a new suburban ranch in Cheshire. When the children reached sufficient age, Phyllis joined the workforce at Sears Roebuck, first on the phones and then working her way up to the auditing department. She worked at Sears for about 10 years before joining her husband in retirement.

Both Phyllis and Harry found their spiritual life fulfilled at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cheshire and were, for many years, fixtures of the parish. Phyllis gave of her time in the altar guild and in making toys and decorations to be sold at the parish craft shows and the like.

Phyllis was extremely fond of music and animals of all kinds, especially horses and dogs, and extra-specially of her own pets. She grew a wonderful garden, first of various vegetable types and then of roses. She and her husband provided a wonderful home for her children and grandchildren to live in and visit. It served as their gathering place for many wonderful years.

Phyllis is survived by her daughter, Dorothea Virginia (Marotto) McNally of Wolcott; her son, Harry Carmine Marotto, Jr. of Windsor; her grandson, James Rickevicius of East Granby; her granddaughter, Melissa Rickevicius of Wallingford; and two great-grandsons, Benjamin and Ryan, by James and his wife Kimberly. She is also survived her nephew, Ernest Brown and his family, son of Grace and Hubert Brown of Orlando, Fla. She was predeceased by her granddaughter, Michelle Rickevicius of Wolcott; her husband, Harry Carmine Marotto, Sr. of Cheshire; and her sister, Grace (Sanford) Brown of Orlando, Fla.

The final years of Phyllis’ life were spent as a resident of Mulberry Gardens and then Alzheimer’s Resource Center in Plantsville, wherein the family is grateful for the loving care she received.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 10, at 9:15 a.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 59 Main Street in Cheshire, (203) 272-4041. Burial will immediately follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Cheshire. Plantsville Funeral Home has been entrusted with handling the arrangements. For online condolences, please visit

In lieu of flowers, donations on Phyllis’ behalf are requested to be sent to the Connecticut Humane Society,

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