Waltham â€“ Mrs. Ursula Helena (Colella) Parrella, of Waltham, died at home on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. And, like members of her father's family, she lived into her nineties.
Lee, as her family and friends called her, was born in Newton on September 1, 1918, a daughter of the late Irena (Bibbo) and Orazio Colella. She had two siblings, Paul Patrick Colella of Newton and Lucy DeRubeis of Michigan.
She attended Newton Public Schools graduating in eleven years with honors. After graduation she went to work in Boston as a secretary and attended school at night. She married Louis Parrella on May 8, 1946 in Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Newton and the couple soon made Waltham their lifelong home. Lou and Lee enjoyed fifty-one happy years together before his death in 1997.
Lee lived for her family and participated in numerous activities and charities, including the Women's Auxiliary of the Warrendale Little League, as a girl scout leader, a catechumen teacher, member of the Ladies Sodality and the Parish Council, all at Sacred Heart Church in Waltham.
When Lee decided to go to work full time she took a civil service exam and began working at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. She eventually became the secretary to the Superintendent of Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham. She retired due to illness as the secretary to the department's area director.
Lee was the ultimate hostess, happiest when she was surrounded at home entertaining for family and friends. She and her husband were a terrific pair and instilled the values of faith, family and friendship into their children. Lee was a lifelong learner and passed along her love of education to her children as well.
For many years she was a member of the Newton Sons of Italy where she was elected to every office in the organization at one time or another. She loved her appointment as State Deputy of the Waltham's Women's Lodge. Lee became active on numerous state commissions including scholarship, charity, culture and for the OSIA magazine where she penned many articles.
Known for her shorthand skills Lee was asked to serve as secretary to the Board of Trustees at the W.E. Fernald School and served as treasurer for the Friends of Fernald.
She leaves her children, Anthony Parrella and his wife, Robin, of Lexington and Susan Parrella of Waltham; her grandson, Justin Parrella of San Francisco, California and several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will honor and remember Lee's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Monday, January 16th from 4 to 8 p.m. and again at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning before leaving in procession to Sacred Heart Church, 311 River Street, Waltham where her Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Newton Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Sacred Heart Church, 311 River Street, Waltham, MA 02453.
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