Patricia Lee Ciardiello, 69, of Cheshire, formerly of Hamden, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, August 12, 2012 at the Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven. Pat was born in Waterbury on December 11, 1942, daughter of the late Thomas and Antonette (Labriola) Lee. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University where she received her bachelor's and master's degrees in education. Pat devoted 18 years to the Hamden Public School system as an elementary school teacher, a job she cherished. She touched the lives of children of all ages who adored and gravitated toward her. Pat was many things to so many people - a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, educator, advisor, mentor and friend. Her intelligence, boundless loyalty, artistic sense and fun-loving attitude made her loved by everyone that knew her. Her family was shaped by her unconditional love and devotion and will be forever changed by her passing. Pat is survived by her son Carmen Ciardiello of Guilford and daughters Elizabeth Leaming of Marlborough and Sara Ciardiello of Cheshire as well as her beloved six grandchildren who were the light of her life. Additionally, she leaves her sister and brother-in-law Rosanne (Lee) and Joseph Carlson. She was predeceased by her brother Thomas Lee Jr. A funeral mass will be held Friday, August 17, 2012 at 10 a.m. at St. Rita Church, 1620 Whitney Avenue., Hamden. Burial will follow at St. James Cemetery, Cross Street, Naugatuck. Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 16th at Beecher & Bennett, 2300 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Spring Glen School Fund in memory of Patricia Ciardiello, c/o Webster Bank, PO Box 10303, Waterbury, CT 06726, which will be used to enrich the lives of students at Spring Glen School in Hamden. Family eulogy for Patricia Lee Ciardiello 'Don't cry for me, I've had a great life.' A central component of any community is a gathering or congregation at a wake and funeral for a loved one. We are here today as Pat Ciardiello's community, every one of us connected to her in some special way. This is a beautiful and loving community. Thank you all for coming; it means so much to her family. Mom was born in Naugatuck, Connecticut in 1942, where she grew up the youngest daughter of Tom and Ann Lee. With her brother Tom and sister Rosanne they grew up as an exceptionally close and loving family, along with her faith, it undoubtedly laid the foundation for who she would become later in life. As an adult I came to realize how much she truly loved her parents and siblings, a cherished affection she spoke about till the day she passed. As a young woman, Mom gave birth to my sister Beth and me. She began her own family, creating a special home akin to the nurturing and loving environment she grew up in. It was a home that welcomed many; nieces and nephews, friends, neighbors, it did not matter. Her arms were always open, inviting all to feel the radiance of her warm embrace and gracious smile. It was as if everyone was her child. It was a happy place. So what do you do as a mother as your children prepare for college? After you've made all the school lunches, gone food shopping, sewed the clothes, broke up the fights, wiped away the tears, cheered at athletic events and gave all those painful baths – you have another child, my sister Sara. Alone together, Mom and Sara grew to be one. I can't tell you how many times they would finish each other's sentences or help dress one another in their impeccable clothes. It was a truly special relationship that I am so grateful each was able to share. As a mother, Mom always wanted us to be good. She wanted us to be happy. Through her actions we learned kindness, generosity, compassion and how to laugh. She taught us to always look on the bright side and to find the good in people, even when we were angry. She never would utter a bad word about anyone and imparted on us to do the same. Her goal as a mother was to pass on the values she had been taught and practiced herself. In her last few days, as her cancer ravaged her physical being, she said in a soft voice 'I'm so happy….I raised three great kids.' The truly amazing part about Mom was after raising her own children she felt she still had so much more to give. With her boundless energy, she found it within herself to finish college and go on to receive her Master's Degree so she could become an elementary school teacher. It was this teaching career that completed her. It was a calling that not only involved her students but their parents, her co-workers and her community. As a parent recently professed 'She treated each student as if she was a Mom first and teacher second.' Over the years I heard over and over again that she was every child's favorite teacher. This was undoubtedly because she believed every child was special and gifted in their own way and that encouragement and love were the key to unlocking a child's talent. As with her students, Mom took away so much from her relationships with her colleagues, friends and neighbors over the years. She always loved having people around and thus the countless gatherings and hosted parties at her home, a home she was very proud of. When we would call her from time to time to ask her what she was doing, it seemed as though she was always saying 'I'm having a baby shower' or 'I'm having a surprise party.' I never knew she knew so many people. Mom had a big heart and this was her way to give everyone a chance inside. While our Mom contemplated retirement over the past several years, she seemed to grow younger as she watched her blessed 6 grandchildren begin to grow up. She called them her little angels. She gained strength from their innocence and shared her love for them, like only a grandmother can. She relished the time she had to bond with them individually and was amazed at how different they all were. She had an incredible ability to make each grandchild feel special as if they were the only grandchild she'd ever had. She loved them with everything she had and it showed. Over the past few days I keep imagining where she is and what she is doing. I continually come back to the vision of her at the gates of Heaven, smiling that same radiant smile with her arms open wide; she is eagerly awaiting those elementary aged kids as they are told 'Okay, you are going to go with Mrs. Ciardiello, she has a few things to teach you'. Ultimately our Mother was a giver and such self-giving would not have been possible without her faith in God. It was this faith that guided her home in the end. Back home with her parents, her brother and all those who have passed before her. While her body is gone, we should all find consolation in knowing that a part of her spirit lives in all of us. If you let her, feel her warm embrace. She is in each breath you take. Feel the strength and courage that she felt as she whispered into her grandchild's ear, 'Don't cry for me, 'I've had a great life'

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  1. As you well know, your Mom touched so many lives. I was very lucky to get to know your Mom when she joined our Birthday Club. I’ll always remember her smiling face and her sense of humor. The earth is a better place because of your Mom. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I hope that all of your wonderful memories will help get you through the difficult moments. Pat, I will miss you, but, will keep you in my heart always. May you rest in peace. Love you my friend

  2. Beth,Carmen & Sara, We are so sad to hear of the passing of your wonderful devoted Mom and Grandmother. We will keep you in our prayers. Love, Marie Ackerman

  3. I will forever remember being a .room parent. in .Mrs. Ciardiello’s. classroom. In fact, I loved it so much I volunteered and was lucky enough to be able to do it a second time as she also had my youngest daughter, Amelia. Loved every minute of it. It was something special to witness her in action; every student was drawn to her, some often approaching her desk, or asking for a hug before they left for the day. Siblings of students she taught loved her as well and she knew everyone of their names. She and Mr. O’brien were the perfect team and all of us lucky enough to experience the magic they created together will cherish those memories. Field trips in particular! We all wish some things will never change. And although we can’t always have what we want, we can be grateful for what we’ve had. And simply put, we had the best. Goodbye, Pat. You will be dearly missed. Until we meet again…know we are thinking of you and your family. The Matthews Family

  4. My sincere sympathies to Pat’s family. I had the honor and pleasure of having Pat as my student teacher at Helen Street School. I knew from the first moment I met her that she was going to be one of the special teachers we all hope children to have. She was dedicated to our profession and I always felt a sense of pride whenever someone talked about what a great teacher she was. Pat was the best and will be greatly missed.

  5. Pat touched so many lives including mine. She inspired all around her to be a better person, teacher, friend, and mother. She was taken too early but I know she will look after all of you from above. Fondly with love and admiration, Suzanne Riley Powell

  6. Pat was an amazing woman.I am so grateful to have been one of the many lucky families to have had our lives touched by her. She was not only a kind, wonderful and loving teacher but a beacon of light for my children and myself during a stormy time in our lives, I will be forever grateful to her. She will be missed and forever loved by so many. She has left an indelible mark. Love and prayers Donna Donovan

  7. Pat was an extaordinary human being.There are very few people in this world that I feel the way I feel about Pat. I not only loved working closely with her every day, i loved her.How lucky am I to have had the opportunity to be her teaching partner and friend for all these years? Pat was there for me in my darkest hour…she held me and comforted me.That was her greatest gift-her humanity.I will never ever forget her. God bless…

  8. To the Ciardiello Family, My prayers and thoughts go out to you in this time of need. So sorry for your loss. Lisa Ventrelli

  9. We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Pat. She will always have a special place in our hearts. She had a way of making each child feel special. She has left a lasting impression on both my boys. Especially, Franco who had the privilege of having her for her last year at Spring Glen. We were so fortunate to experience her magic. I am sure God has a place for her in a classroom in heaven. May God bless her soul.We love you Pat C. Lisa, Joe Joey and Franco DeGrand

  10. Amelia was lucky enough to have Ms. Ciardiello for fourth grade. They clicked, and Amelia has fond memories of their time together. Ms. Ciardiello was terrific in using her experience to work through a student conflict, and Amelia had a great year. When Amelia went back to the school for events, she always sought out Ms. Ciardiello — who, in turn, was always interested in a way that showed that Amelia was always her student, no matter what grade she was in. I’m sure this story is but one of many shared by Spring Glen students and parents over many years; the community is poorer for our loss.

  11. Dear Carmen, Elizabeth and Sara, I am sorry that I am not in Cheshire at this time to express my condolences to you in person. May your dear Mother rest in peace.

  12. I will always know Ms.Ciardiello as my 4th grade teacher. She was so kind and patient throughout the year. I have so many great memories of the year. I remember the books Ms.Ciardiello read to us, ones I still recommend today. I also remember little things: the compliments jar, the queen’s chair, the .life is good. sticker, fully explained topics, and little things that set one teacher apart from the rest. Ms.Ciardiello will always be remembered in the Spring Glen community. I am glad I was able to know her and sorry it wasn’t for longer.

  13. Sara, I had always viewed your mom as my role model. She was my room parent when you were my first grader and I remember her talking about following her passion to become a teacher. I am so sorry to know that she has passed; my heavy heart will pray for you in the days ahead.

  14. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Ciardiello family and our deepest gratitude for what Pat brought to our school community and to our family. Pat always had a .life is good. message up in her classroom and reminded her students that .a bad day is a good day waiting to happen.. But even more importantly, she conveyed that message by the way she lived, lighting up her classroom with her positive, nurturing presence. She was one of those unique people who can see the goodness in others, and in so doing, help them to believe in & bring out the best in themselves. I know her warm, gentle presence did this for my son and countless others. Thank you, Pat, for teaching all of us the lesson of remembering to see the goodness in life & each other, even at times like this filled with the pain of loss. Your spirit touched us all. May your loved ones be comforted.

  15. I grew up with your mom as I lived on Laurel Ave and Patty was on New Haven Rd.. We had a few parties at her house while in grammar school and they were always a lot of fun. I will miss her. As a representative of the Class of ’60 at Naugy HS we send our condolences and we all will miss her tremendously. She was to young to go. Gary

  16. To the Ciardiello Family, Pat was a treasure to the Spring Glen School community. She always opened her home for the staff and friends to celebrate special occasions. We will cherish those joyful times together. Hinda Piscitelle

  17. Dearest Sara, I was deeply saddened when I learned of your mom’s passing. I remember her warm smile and kindness as she brought you to kindergarten and to sing at my wedding! I can hardly believe that you are now engaged to be married. Know that your mom adored you and is still with you in your heart. Memores of good times will begin to take away your sadness.. Know that I am praying for you to have strength and experience love and peace in the days ahead. Love, Liz Armeno DePalma Your kindergarten teacher

  18. Our family was so sad to hear of Pat Ciardiello’s passing. We mourn your family’s loss and wish we could give you as much warmth and kindness as Mrs. Ciardiello gave to our children at Spring Glen. She was a very special person and we loved her dearly.

  19. Our deepest sympathy on the loss of Mrs. Ciardello. She was a great teacher who will be missed dearly. We just got the news today and were very saddened. May you find comfort during this very difficult time. Sincerely,Anthony Broncatello, Toni-Liana Lopez, Donna Lopez & Family

  20. To the Broggi Family, please accept our condolences on the loss of Doris. From Fred Morgillo, Barbara Meizies and Ann Karjanis at the Mary Wade Home. God Bless You All.

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