Carmela Lucia Vodola Preli (Lucy Prell)

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Carmela Lucia Vodola Preli (Lucy Prell) passed away peacefully in her apartment at Brighton Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC on February 11, 2020 after a brief illness. She was 91 years old.
Born July 16, 1928, in Stamford, CT, she was the daughter of the late Gerardo Vodola and Angela Masi Vodola. Her parents named her Carmela since she was born on the same day as the Blessed Virgin Mary's feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but she loved her middle name "Lucy" which she used the last three decades of her life. She lived a remarkable life as an educator, a career counselor, an active volunteer but most importantly as a loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother.
She graduated from Southern State Teacher's College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1950 and then later earned two Master degrees at the University of Bridgeport with a Master of Science in Education in 1972 and a Master of Science in Counseling & Human Resource Development in 1986. Lucy began her career as an elementary school teacher first in CT and later in MO and then moved into higher education as a career counselor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, CT.
She met her future husband Dr. Bruno A. Preli when they were in a wedding party together in Stamford, CT while he was attending Dental School at the University of St. Louis in MO. They were married at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Stamford, CT on August 20, 1955. Upon completion of Dental School, the couple returned to Stamford, CT and ultimately moved to New Canaan, CT where Bruno started his dental practice, built their home, and together they raised their four sons. It was during this period in her life where she hosted the most memorable family gatherings, impressed with her cooking skills, and welcomed everyone to her home.
With the death of her husband in 1993, Lucy decided to move to Wilmington, NC. In this second phase of her life she embraced volunteerism teaching English as a second language, acting as a docent at her local Art Museum, volunteering at the hospital, holding leadership positions in the American Association of University Women (AAUW), starting the Widow/Widowers group at her Catholic Church , singing in the church choir, and organizing lecture series for her Senior Retirement community. As an experiential learner, Lucy pursued her passion to travel both domestically and internationally. She enjoyed many sports including tennis, golf, kayaking, biking, and walking especially at the beach.
Lucy's legacy is her four sons and her three grandchildren: John J. Preli and his wife Kathleen of Ridgefield CT, Thomas A. Preli and his wife Christine of Houston TX , Richard J. Preli of Norwalk CT, Dr. Robert B. Preli and his wife Karen of Winston-Salem NC, grandson Thomas Preli Jr of Houston TX, grandson Patrick Preli of West Palm Beach FL, and granddaughter Kara Preli of Winston-Salem NC. She is also survived by nieces and nephews. Lucy was predeceased by her parents, and her sister Rose (Vodola) Festo, her brothers, Angelo (Joe) Vodola, Vincent (Jimmy) Vodola, and Anthony (Tony) Vodola.
Lucy lived her Catholic faith with commitment and special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The family takes great solace in the fact that their beloved mother and grandmother died on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes where the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared on February 11, 1858 and last appeared July 16, 1858 which are Lucy's birth and death dates.
The family wishes to extend their special thanks to all the staff at Brighton Gardens in Winston-Salem for their kindness and compassionate care of Lucy and to express their appreciation to the Medi Home Health & Hospice team for their exceptional support during her final days.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday February 22, 2020 at 10:30 AM EDT at St. Thomas More Church 374 Middlesex Road, Darien CT 06820 with interment at St. John's Catholic Cemetery 25 Camp Avenue Darien CT 06820. Calling hours will be from 9:00 – 10:00 AM at the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home 2119 Boston Post Road Darien CT 06820 on February 22, 2020 prior to the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made to Lucy's favorite charity: Doctors Without Borders USA, Inc. https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/onetime.cfm?type=tribute