The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 12, 2010


Elissa Abruzzo

Active in the community

Elissa Abruzzo, 54, of River Road passed away on February 3, surrounded by her immediate family, after a long struggle with systemic lupus. She is survived by her husband Rob Coughlin and their daughter Michaella, her sisters, Claudia and Jamie, her parents, nephews and many cousins, aunts and uncles.

Raised in Bronxville, New York, she attended Rollins College and the University of Vermont as an undergraduate, and earned her master’s degree at Western Michigan University. After her studies, she moved to the Boston area, living in Brookline and working first as a counselor at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. She later worked at the Boston Indian Council, and eventually joined the United Way of Massachusetts Bay where she managed the Gifts In Kind program and served as fiscal agent for a FEMA emergency food and shelter funding program.

During college and as a graduate student, and later as a young adult and with her husband, she made many trips to Europe and England. Before joining the United Way, she took a year off to move to Italy where she studied the Italian language, living in and around Florence. She loved art and dance, especially ballet. Throughout her adult life she made regular visits to Kripalu, a yoga and meditation center in Western Massachusetts, and enjoyed vegetarian and organic foods.

She moved to Carlisle with her husband in 1993, the same year their daughter was born. She was active in many community events and activities, including First Connections, the volunteer committee that built the Diment Park tot-lot playground, serving as a library volunteer at the Carlisle School and as a volunteer with Friends For Tomorrow, a non-profit therapeutic horseback-riding program. She was also active in the Carlisle Cultural Council for many years, serving most recently as its chairperson.

She loved Carlisle, its rural qualities, its small town atmosphere, the close sense of community and, mostly, its people. She loved St. Irene Church, Old Home Day, her book group, Kimball’s and local farm stands. Throughout her battle with lupus over many years, she was supported and comforted greatly by her many friends and neighbors, which will always be remembered and for which her family will always be grateful.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on February 6 in St. Irene Church. Interment followed in Green Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to Brigham & Women’s Hospital, 116 Huntington Avenue, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Lupus Center Fund ( For online guest book visit ∆

Edward “Ed” Max Hofstetter

A man of science

Ed Hoffstetter, 77, formerly of Wolf Rock Road, passed quietly at his Tucson, Arizona home after an 18-month battle with colon cancer. He was a man of science, graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959 with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Ed went on to work at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington for his entire career.

In 1955, Ed married the love of his life, Nancy Bennett of Danvers. They went on to raise two daughters, Christine and Karen. Ed and Nancy resided in Carlisle for many years until recently retiring to Tucson. Ed was an avid reader, loved to cook and eat, and enjoyed hiking and walking.

Ed is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy, daughters Christine Hofstetter and Karen Hofstetter and her husband Carl Scheuneman. At his request, no services are to be held. Ed’s final wish was that his ashes be scattered in the foothills of his beloved Tucson mountains.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to remember Ed may make a donation to the Colon Cancer Alliance at, or send to 1200 G Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. ∆


James Bearfield to wed Erin Walsh

Robert and Patricia Walsh of Brewster, formerly of Billerica, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Erin Kimberly Walsh of Billerica, to James Clayton Bearfield, son of Larry Bearfield of Carlisle and Gail Inferrere of Wayland.

Ms. Walsh, a graduate of Billerica High School, received her bachelor’s degree from Western New England College and her master’s degree from Capella University in English with a focus on reading and literacy. Erin is a sixth grade English and Social Studies teacher at the Ephraim Curtis Middle School in Sudbury.

James is a graduate of Wayland High School. He is employed by the 99 Restaurant. James is completing his degree at Middlesex Community College. James and Erin share a love of the outdoors and volunteer extensively with New England Disabled Sports.

A July wedding is planned. ∆

Joshua Holt to wed Sarah DeWitt

Mr. and Mrs. William Frederick Holt of School Street are pleased to announce the engagement of their son, Joshua Eliot Holt of Arlington, Virginia, to Sarah Lynn DeWitt of Arlington, Virginia, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Van DeWitt of Aiken, South Carolina.

Mr. Holt is a 1999 graduate of Concord-Carlisle High School. Josh has a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science and in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought from Amherst College. He also holds a juris doctorate from the Boston University School of Law. He is employed by the law firm of Kaye Scholar in Washington, D.C.

Miss DeWitt is a 2002 graduate of Aiken High School. Sarah has a bachelor of science degree in Psychology with a minor in Health Science from Clemson University. She also holds a bachelor of science in Nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. She is employed by Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington as a registered nurse.

The wedding will be held on June 19, 2010, at the Rose Hill Estate in Aiken, South Carolina. ∆

Carlisle students on Dean’s Lists

• Brittany Geoffroy of Acton Street, a freshman at the College of the Holy Cross, has been named to the Dean’s List for Fall 2009 semester.

• Ashley Catherine White of Bedford Road was named to the Dean’s List at Keene State College.

• Sarah Lelievre of Orchard Acres, Aaron Naisbitt of Carlisle and Veronica Woodworth of Fiske Street were named to the Fall 2009 Middlesex Community College Dean’s List.

• Brenden Hedblom of Maple Street, a sophomore at Skidmore College, earned honors for the fall semester.

• Ben Verrill of Forest Park Drive, a freshman at Connecticut College, received Dean’s Honors for the Fall 2009 semester.

• Caroline Casey of Indian Hill, a sophomore Anthropology major, and Amelia Seifert of Elizabeth Ridge Road, a freshman Exercise and Movement Sciences major, were named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2009 semester at the University of Vermont.

• Emma Richard of Westford Street has been named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2009 semester at Drew University.

Will Lamb of Indian Hill Road, a senior studying in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, was named to the Dean’s List at Fairfield University for the Fall 2009 semester. ∆

• Emily Rolando of Garnet Rock Lane was awarded a bachelor of arts in Psychology with an emphasis on wilderness leadership and outdoor programming in December 2009 from Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona.

Alex Moskowitz of East Street, a junior at Concord Academy, has been selected to play his cello with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Orchestra.

DAISYS IN THE SNOW. The kindergarten girls of Daisy Girl Scout Troop 72680 recently visited the Carlisle Police Station with Officer Ron Holsinger leading the tour. The girls are (left to right) Darcy Foot, Mia Comeau, Isabella Synnestvedt, Ashley Grant, Susannah Snell, Skylar Smith, Grace Versaggi, Emma McCollum, Charlotte Beakley, Amelia Hammond and Emily McCormack. Hiding from the picture are Brynn Cimino and Claire Derkazarian. (Courtesy photo)


St. Irene Church to celebrate Golden Jubilee

St. Irene Church will be holding a Mass of Celebration on Saturday evening, February 13, at 5 p.m., to commemorate the church’s 50th anniversary as a Roman Catholic parish in Carlisle. The Mass will be concelebrated by His Excellency John Patrick Boles, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Boston Archdiocese, and Reverend Thomas P. Donohoe, Pastor of St. Irene, and Deacon Dean Bulpett. Immediately following the Mass, a dinner reception will be held for invited dignitaries and church parishioners in the Parish Hall. All are invited to attend the Mass and each parish family will receive a copy of the Golden Jubilee Commemorative Booklet.

The old St. Irene building on Bedford Road was moved to Carlisle in 1947, having been acquired at an auction of army surplus, and was used continuously until the new church on East Street was dedicated in 1997. In this photo, taken in April 1994, the Post Office is visible behind the church. There is now a private home on the site. (File photo by Midge Eliassen)

St. Irene was officially decreed a parish on February 16, 1960, by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston. Before becoming a parish of its own, the church’s humble beginnings date back to 1946 when it was founded as an auxiliary mission of St. Bernard Parish in Concord. Without a church of its own, Masses were initially celebrated outdoors in an apple orchard on Westford Street and then moved into a two-car garage when the weather turned cold. In the fall of 1947, the mission acquired an army surplus recreation building at auction for $250. The building was moved to Carlisle and installed on a lot that was purchased on Bedford Road. The Bedford Road church was used continuously until the new church on East Street was dedicated in 1997. ∆

Local band to play at benefit for Romanian Children’s Relief

The local band, House Red, has agreed to donate their time and talent and play at a Romanian Children’s Relief (RCR) benefit event. Band members are George Skelly of Berry Corner Road, lead guitar, John Rule of Canterbury Court, drums, Dean Goodermote of Sudbury, bass, and Marc Caruso of Concord, guitar.

The event, on Saturday, February 27, is a special benefit screening of a new documentary film, Hand Held, at the WGBH studios in Boston. Tickets are available for $75 or $150 on the RCR website at and must be purchased by February 15.

Hand Held, produced and directed by Don Hahn, follows Mike Carroll, one of the first photographers to travel to Romania after the fall of the communist regime in 1989. When he arrived, he walked into one of the most horrific scenes of the 20th century. Mike’s incredible photographs and heart wrenching stories of the pediatric AIDS epidemic in Romania ran in the Boston Globe and opened the eyes of the Western world to the plight of the Romanian children. In 1990 Mike founded Romanian Children’s Relief, a 501(c)(3) charity working to support Romanian children and families in need and to prevent child abandonment. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito