NORWALK, Conn. ? St. Philips Church in Norwalk was filled Wednesday with friends, family and students of Carla Mortelliti, the West Rocks Middle School math teacher who died from a bee sting last week while gardening outside her Wilton home. She was 50 years old.
She had a larger-than-life personality, said Andrea Consiglio, a math teacher who was one of dozens of teachers who attended the funeral service.
She made everyone smile, said science teacher Robert Kline, who described Carla as hard-working, passionate and supportive.
During the service, the Rev. Michael Boccaccio commented that Mortelliti was an active parishioner at St. Phillips. She had a willingness to serve, he said.
Dr. Michael Mortelliti, Carlas brother, delivered the eulogy. He said that he will cherish, above everything else, their childhood memories. We are children lying on a green lawn at dusk. Mortelliti was a native of Elmsford, N.Y. She is survived by her husband, Jose Torres, two brothers and a sister, two stepchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Carla was the guardian of our family, said Dr. Mortelliti. She was the eternal optimist, and also a realist with a sense of humor.
Nature can be so brutal, so decisive, he said referring to the circumstances of her death.
Dr. Mortelliti gave a special thanks to Carlas students, who came out in large numbers to her wake on Tuesday and set up Facebook pages in her honor. They showed their love and admiration for her.
The kids were broken up, said Marissa Novotny, a language arts teacher who worked closely with Mortelliti.
She was like a mother to them. Even the toughest students were able to connect with her.
If you knew Carla Mortelliti, leave a memory below.
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