Obituaries: Elizabeth Palaia

Elizabeth “Betty” Palaia, 90, widow of Michael R Palaia, of Bristol, passed away peacefully on Tuesday December 12, 2017 in the loving arms of her son.

Betty was born in Forestville Ct. on January 6, 1927, and was the daughter of the late William and Lenora (Harden) Ryan.

Betty worked as a bookkeeper for Valley Concrete in Farmington Ct before retiring and caring for all of her grandchildren. She was a lover of music and often played the piano at family gatherings, with her brother Bill, and at various restaurants while accompanying smaller bands. Betty has taught several of her grandchildren to play music and her spirit will live on through every note they play. She was also the “Scrabble Queen” of Matunuck Beach she loved playing cards and board games with her children and grandchildren, who were the love of her life. She is remembered for the kindness of always having an open door for those who may have needed a place to call home.

Betty is survived by her children, Bob and his wife Peggy Palaia, of Plainville, and their children Shannon and Jeremy; Holly Palaia of Matunuck, RI and her children Chris and Ryan Gimpl, Candy Palaia of Plainville, Jayme Palaia-Connolly of South Portland, ME and her children Libby, John and Michael Connolly; Jim and his wife Julia Palaia of West Hartford and the children Saverio and Lauren Palaia. Betty is also survived by Jesse Phoenix Palaia and Scott and Megan Palaia, grandchildren, as well as several great grandchildren, Gabe, Connor, Dillon and Hadley, and her best friend Holly Cmiel of Key West Fla and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her son Michael P Palaia and her brothers, Richard, Robert and William Ryan.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday,  December 16, 2017 at O’Brien Funeral Home, 24 Lincoln Ave., Bristol/ Forestville from 1PM until 4PM, followed by a service at the funeral home at 4PM. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations in Betty’s memory may be made to: Imagine Nation A Museum Early Learning Center, 1 Pleasant St., Bristol Ct. 06010 or the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation, 282 Washington St. Hartford, CT 06106.

To leave an online message of condolence, share a memory or a photo, please visit Betty’s memorial web page at