Antonette Pepe

Antonette Pepe passed away on Monday, December 7th, 2015, at the age of 74.

Antonette “Mama” (Calvanese) Pepe passed away peacefully at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield on December 7, 2015 surrounded by her loving family. Born in Springfield on April 13, 1941, she was a life-long resident of Springfield and a committed member of the community. Active in civic organizations and girls’ athletic associations, she was most proud of her contributions as a member of the Springfield School Committee, especially the introduction of school uniforms. She worked as a paraprofessional in the Springfield Public Schools and was president of her union for 12 years. Her passion for helping those who may not have representation and for what is right in society governed her life as a citizen and as a parent. Involved in collective bargaining, contract development, rights and responsibilities, Antonette recognized classroom inequities and student needs. Receiving her GED in her 30‘s, she valued education and recognized the difficult situations confronting many children. Her work showed her commitment to supporting and increasing services for a diverse and often at risk student population and was responsive to parents. She is survived by her loving and supportive husband of 53 years, Russell Pepe, and 3 children, Michele and her spouse Jessica of Springfield, Sharon Nieves and her husband Edward of Springfield, and Russell and his wife Jennifer of Marlton, New Jersey. She was especially proud of her children, all of whom graduated from the Springfield Public Schools and from college. She is also survived by 7 grandchildren, Antonette, Edward "EJ", Jennifer, Johannah, Jordan, Guinevere, Joseph; and one great grandchild, Xavier. She is also survived by her brother, Andrew "Butch" Calvanese and his wife Diana of Chicopee; her uncle Anthony “Tuxie” Calvanese; cousins; and nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brothers, Joseph and Gerald; and her sister Marie. She also leaves many dear friends, including Teresa Regina. Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Friday December 11th from 4-8PM at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main St., East Longmeadow. Antonette’s funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 12th from the funeral home at 8:30AM followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Springfield at 10AM. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Springfield. Donations in Antonette’s memory may be made to The Gray House, 22 Sheldon St., Springfield, MA 01107 or the HD, 2 Bernie Ave., Spfld, MA 01107.

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