Tomassina ‘Tommie’ Panepinto
NORTH CANAAN — Tomassina “Tommie” Panepinto passed away peacefully at the Rosewood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Rensselaer, New York on July 29, 2022. She had been a resident at Rosewood since October 2021. Her loving care there, was a blessing.
Tomassina was born in Westerly, Rhode Island, the oldest daughter of the late S. Joseph Nania and Mary Pothier Nania. She was predeceased by her beloved brother Peter and her dear daughter Teresa.
Tommie moved to North Canaan, Connecticut when she was in the second grade. She attended Housatonic Valley Regional High School where she earned accolades for academic performance and community service. With great courage for a small town girl, Tommie went off to Trinity College in Washington, D.C. While at Trinity, Tommie was inspired by the Sisters of Notre Dame to care for others and to work for peace and social justice. During her tenure at Trinity, in the turbulent late 1960s she went to Honduras to work with a community of impoverished, indigenous Honduran women. Upon graduation, Tomassina was awarded the Mary Murray McArdle Award in recognition of her contribution to the Trinity College community.
After graduation in 1970, Tomassina went to New York City to pursue her education at the New York University School of Social Work, where she earned her Masters Degree. There, she met her husband Bill, whom she married in 1971. Tommie and Bill had three children; Bill in 1972, Teresa in 1975 and Vincent in 1981.
The family moved to Altamont in 1980 and Tommie quickly became involved in local efforts for peace and social justice in Altamont Village and at her parish, St. Lucy’s. In recognition of her deep faith, devotion to the Catholic community and psychological acumen, Tomassina was one of the first lay woman to be appointed to the Albany Catholic Diocese Priest Formation Board.
Tomassina worked for over twenty years as a social worker for the Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health. She retired in 2013. In 2017 she suffered the first of several debilitating strokes.
Tommie is survived by her husband Bill, her sons Bill and Vincent, her granddaughter Cassandra, her brother Anthony and his wife Irene, her brother Gerard and his wife Diane, her sister Maria and her husband Richard Stillman.
Tommie also had loving relationships with her nephews and nieces — Clayton, Nicole, Andrew, Catie, Brendan and Richard.
Tomassina was a warrior for social justice. She was deeply devoted to family, friends and community. She will be remembered for her humility, loving spirit, fine intellect, boundless compassion and infinite patience. To her family, Tomassina was a power of example.