Theresa M. (Zizzi) Porto, age 89, of Utica, passed away on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at the Masonic Care Community with the love and support of her family.
She was born on October 6, 1931, in Utica, a daughter of the late Vito Antonio and Elizabeth (Semeraro) Zizzi. Educated in Utica, she was a graduate of T.R. Proctor High School.
On September 17, 1960, she was joined in marriage to Richard S. (Dick) Porto at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church, a blessed union of 42 years until his passing on September 22, 2002. Together they raised five children. She was a devoted wife and mother making many sacrifices for her family, and her maternal strength showed through in her daily life. She was very proud of her children and loved them deeply.
She was a devout Catholic, raising her children to practice their religious faith. She was a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, and in her latter years of Historic Old St. John’s Church.
Prior to and after raising her five children she was employed at various local companies including General Electric and Chicago Pneumatic. Her last position was an Executive Secretary for Bendix/TRW Corp. She was proud of her career and was held in high regard as an exceptional secretary by her employers.
She loved and adored her grandchildren, and enjoyed celebrating many milestones with them throughout the years. She was an avid reader, enjoyed her hand at crossword puzzles, loved to walk and be active, was an outstanding cook, and had passed down many traditional recipes to her children, which are enjoyed by all to this day. She had an infectious smile, was very humorous, and had a gregarious personality, which captured the hearts of others. Her beautiful spirit could be felt when you were around her. She had a strong will to live, was a two-time breast cancer survivor, and had a zest for life. She loved to travel and especially enjoyed going to NYC and being at the ocean.
After the passing of her husband, she met Paul Raymond, and spent many wonderful years of companionship with him. They enjoyed traveling together to Europe, and to numerous cities and countries around the world.
Theresa was known for her beautiful singing voice, which began at an early age. She even sang on a local radio station and her singing continued throughout her lifetime with her participation in local musical broadway productions, various acting and singing shows, competitions, weddings, and she was part of the Players Theatre Group. Even with late stage Alzheimer’s Disease, she won the talent show two years in a row at the Masonic Care Community singing her most cherished song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
Her last place of residence was at the MCC, the Buffalo Household. Theresa and her family were extremely appreciative of the exceptional care that was provided. We would like to mention some staff who were close to Theresa with special thanks to Dr. Kevin McCormick, Nancy Furlong, Mindy, Monica, Kia, Jay, Christa, and so many more who took the time to care for her and love her.
Surviving are her five children, Catherine (Michael) Fenton of Baldwinsville NY, Stephen (Michele) Porto of Brewerton NY, Elizabeth Korrie of New Hartford NY, Diana (Raymond) Durso of Utica NY, and Christian (Melinda) Porto of Bridgeport NY; her cherished grandchildren, Brandon Fenton, Gennaro Durso, Gianna Durso, Kyle Korrie, and Alexa Durso; one brother and sister-in-law Peter and Doris Zizzi of Utica; and beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also survived by her sister-in- law, Linda Porto of New York, NY. She was predeceased by two sisters Mary Zizzi and Anna Peek and three brothers Joseph, Vito “Bill” and Cosmo Zizzi.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Mass of Christian Burial on Monday December 28, at 1:00 pm at Historic Old St John’s Church, Downtown Utica. Private interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. The family will greet all visitors at the conclusion of Mass in Church. In keeping with CDC and NYS guidelines social distancing, face masks and church trace signing are mandatory. Please arrive to church early to allow for all visitors to sign in before mass begins. In memory of Theresa, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Central N.Y. Chapter; alz.org.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Theresa M. (Zizzi) Porto, please visit our floral store.