Laurie was born in Danbury on May 24, 1955, the daughter of the late Steven and Libby (Brady) Zaleta. She attended Northwestern University in Boston where she was trained as a dental hygienist. She married Paul, the love of her life, in 1979, and devoted herself to making a home for themselves and their two daughters, Anna and Lia.
A leader in La Leche League and in Connecticut homeschooling groups, Laurie was a tireless advocate for the welfare of mothers and children and was part of a movement that changed the standard of care for infants to include breastfeeding. She educated–or rather “unschooled”– her daughters, designing an experiential curriculum that was focused on learning by doing. An avid reader, she was also an active Literacy volunteer and became close friends with many of her students.
Besides her husband, Laurie leaves her daughters, Lia Mastropolo and her husband Ken Shepard of Philadelphia, PA, and Anna Mastropolo of Plainville; brothers Thomas Zaleta and his wife Linda of Roxbury, and John Zaleta of Danbury; and several nieces and a nephew.
Friends and loved ones are invited to calling hours and a short memorial service between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at O’Brien Funeral Home, 24 Lincoln Ave., Forestville/Bristol. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut or the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network.
To leave an online message of sympathy or to share a photo, please visit Laurie’s tribute page at www.OBrien-FuneralHome.com.