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Elizabeth (Bellabona) WernigFebruary 21, 1954 ~ December 25, 2016 (age 62)
Elizabeth Ann Wernig, 62, third child of Anthony and Lillian Bellabona of East Boston, and long-time resident of Bellingham, MA passed away on Sunday, December 25th at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Born in 1954, she grew up with her family, surrounded by cousins, aunts, and uncles in East Boston. In 1974, Liz married James Wernig and they moved to California for a short time before returning to Massachusetts and settled at 16 Arbend Circle, Bellingham, MA where they raised four children. Liz always wanted to be a teacher, but interrupted her schooling and work as a preschool teacher to fully devote her time to raising her children. Jim and Liz’s goal was to have four kids before turning 30. They did that, and every night, after the kids were in bed, Liz spent her evenings as an artist. Through crafting, painting, woodworking, and preparing for various craft shows and church fairs she kept in touch with her creative side. Once the kids were in school, she returned to the field of education, spending 9 years as a teacher’s aide at Stall Brook School. After her oldest daughter graduated from college, Liz returned to college at age 42 and earned her BA and Masters degrees, graduating summa cum laude from Lesley College in Cambridge. She then spent twenty years working as a Technology Teacher in Bellingham and Mendon-Upton school district.
During this time, she always had this quote above her computer: If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. She truly loved her students, colleagues, and her career, earning various awards over the years that recognized her innovative teaching strategies and creation of popular student clubs and activities. She was so proud to receive the 2004 Pathfinder Award from Mass CUE Inc. and is forever grateful for the support of Miscoe Hill School students and staff throughout her career and illness.
As a natural teacher, she gravitated towards young people. Known lovingly as Nana, she enjoyed afternoons painting with her six grandchildren or showing them how to create music videos with the latest apps on her multiple ipads. Nana appreciated the small, precious moments in life… sitting quietly by the lake watching her grand kids, husband, and kids playing in the water, party boat cruises, dance parties, movie nights, and coffee in bed with her husband, grandchildren, and sometimes grown kids!
Elizabeth was predeceased by her daughter, Alyssa Lee Wernig. She is survived by her husband Jim, her sister Janis, both sharing their love, care, compassion, and humor with her throughout her illness. She is also survived by her daughter April and husband Drew Sigfridson, her son Adam and wife Carrie, her daughter Holly, and grandchildren: Alyssa, Leah, Jack, Haley, Eric, & Nathan. Her extended family includes brother, Joseph Bellabona and wife Eileen, brother, Leo Bellabona, sister Janis and husband Larry Ridgeway, nieces and nephews, East Boston cousins, aunts, uncles, the Arbend Circle family, and her husband’s siblings, with special gratitude for Stephen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Phillips 21 Nursing Fund, ℅ Adele Keeley,Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114.
A Celebration of Life to honor Liz will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2017 from 11am-2pm at Grand View, 6 Nipmuc Drive, Mendon, MA.