Anita Pollaci Arnold
Anita Pollaci Arnold, 66, of Newtown, died peacefully at home October 31. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she was the baby and the only girl of the Pollaci family, and the darling of her three older brothers, who called her “Neets.” If the boys were especially good, they were allowed to “kiss the baby.”
After graduating cum laude from Bishop Kearney, she worked for some years in business, first on Wall Street and later as bookkeeper at her brother’s restaurant. She met her future husband, Drew Arnold, in a Manhattan corporate bowling league. In 1982, the two stole away for a romantic getaway to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and, much to the surprise of their families and friends, came back married. They settled in Newtown, where they raised their two children, Christopher and Elizabeth.
In Connecticut, Ms Arnold’s work shifted into social services and the public sector. She oversaw the business operations of the Newtown Youth Services for 15 years and served as executive assistant to the Redding first selectman for another ten. Wherever she worked or volunteered, people valued her calm good sense, her organization, her quiet leadership, and her ability to make things happen. Ms Arnold carried herself with an elegant grace and understated dignity that was a throwback to the forties and fifties, an era whose pop songs, films, and musicals gave her endless pleasure.
She shared her kind and loving spirit freely and widely. Moved by her deep concern for others, she touched and brightened many lives, within her family, among her friends, in the Trinity Episcopal Church community that she loved so much, and through her professional life of public service.
Family was the touchstone of Ms Arnold’s existence, and her greatest joy. She was a devoted and loving mother, wife, daughter, and sister. Her concern and support for her children Christopher and Elizabeth knew no bounds. Her close relationship with her mother, Millie, was a blessing to both, and to all who shared in it. She seized every opportunity to enjoy time with her brothers and with her extended family, including the annual trips west with her mother to see Aunt Anita, and the Thanksgiving gatherings of the Denny-Arnold family in the Adirondacks.
Ms Arnold greeted all of life’s joys and challenges with an ever-deepening spirituality. Her faith gave her the strength to move forward after the death of her daughter Elizabeth, and to face the advance of her own lung cancer.
Her husband; her son Christopher; her brothers Arthur Pollaci of Brooklyn and Ron and Jackie Pollaci of Sag Harbor; her aunt; and a large and loving collection of nieces and nephews, and brothers- and sisters-in-law survive Ms Arnold. Her daughter Elizabeth; her parents Camille “Millie” and Matthew Pollaci; her brother Matthew Pollaci, Jr; her mother- and father-in-law Mary and David Arnold; and her sister-in-law Lynn Arnold McGowan predeceased her.
Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 pm, Friday, November 7, at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown. The memorial mass, also at Trinity Episcopal, will be at 11 am, Saturday, November 8.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Trinity Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, 36 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470.