Tomassina Panepinto

ALTAMONT — Tomassina “Tommie” Panepinto was a social-justice warrior who was deeply devoted to her family, friends, and community, her family said. 

She died peacefully at the Rosewood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Rensselaer on Friday, July 29, 2022. She had been a resident at Rosewood since October 2021. “Her loving care there was a blessing,” her family wrote in a tribute.

She was born in Westerly, Rhode Island, the oldest daughter of the late S. Joseph Nania and Mary Pothier Nania.

“Tommie moved to Canaan, Connecticut in the foothills of the Berkshires when she was in the second grade,” her family wrote. “She attended Housatonic Valley Regional High School where she earned accolades for academic performance and community service.

“With great courage for a small-town girl, Tommie went off to Trinity College in Washington, D.C. While at Trinity, Tommie was inspired by the Sisters of Notre Dame to care for others and to work for peace and social justice.

“During her tenure at Trinity, she spent time in Honduras, during the turbulent times of the late 1960s, working with poor, indigenous women. Upon graduation, Tomassina was awarded the Mary Murray McArdle Award in recognition of her contribution to the Trinity College community.

“After graduation in 1970, Tomassina went to New York City to pursue her education at the New York University of Social Work, where she earned her master’s degree. This is where she met her husband, Bill, whom she married in 1971. Tommie and Bill had three children: Bill in 1972, Teresa in 1975, and Vincent in 1981.

“The family moved to Altamont in 1980 and Tommie quickly became involved in local efforts for peace and social justice in the village and at her parish, St. Lucy’s. In recognition of her deep faith, devotion to the Catholic community, and psychological acumen, Tomassina was one of the first laywomen to be appointed to the Albany Catholic Diocese Priest Formation Board.

“Tomassina worked for over 20 years as a social worker for the Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health. She retired in 2013. In 2017, she suffered the first of several debilitating strokes.

“Tomassina was a social-justice warrior. She was deeply devoted to family, friends, and community. Tomassina will be remembered for her loving spirit, fine intellect, boundless compassion, and infinite patience. To her family, Tomassina was a power of example.”

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Tomassina Panepinto is survived by her husband, Bill; by her sons, Bill and Vincent; by her granddaughter, Cassandra; by her sister, Maria, and her brothers, Anthony and Gerard. She also had loving relationships with her nephews and nieces — Richard, Andrew, Catie, Brendan, Clayton, and Nicole.

Her beloved brother, Peter, died before her as did her dear daughter, Teresa.

A funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at St. Matthews Church at 26 Mountainview Street in Voorheesville. Interment will follow in the Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery.

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