Diana Polastri Anderson, of Branford, died Friday May 9, 2014 at the Madison House.
Mrs. Anderson was born February 9, 1923 in Milford, MA, daughter of the late Louis and Gina Ezzati Polastri. She began her working career as a secretary at the New Haven Savings Bank and also at High Standard Manufacturing Company.
Thirty years ago, little was known about Alzheimer's disease and there was no support for caregivers. Diana helped to found the first caregiver support group in the nation, providing the kind of support that had been unavailable in 1981 when her husband, Herbert, was diagnosed with the disease. She became the first volunteer and her husband the first client in the innovative program then called the East Shore Regional Adult Day Care Center (now, Orchard House). For over twenty-five years Diana worked with desperate people who were suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Her compassion and strength were a source of support to so many who needed reassurance as they struggled to maintain the dignity of their loved ones.
She was predeceased by her husband Herbert and her son Peter Anderson.
Her legacy continues in her daughter, Carol Miessau and husband Jim; her daughter-in-law, Deborah Anderson; her sisters, Doris Polastri and Angela Orsene; grandchildren, Michael, Dan, Christian, Katherine and Matthew; and great-grandchildren, Jackson, Cody, Adriana and Winston.
There will be no calling hours. A memorial Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Thursday morning at 11:00 in St. Mary Church, Branford.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the James Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main Street, Branford; or to the Orchard House, 421 Shore Drive, Branford, 06405.
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