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Virginia Potenza, 77

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Obituaries

Virginia Potenza

Virginia Potenza

Virginia “Dinny” Potenza, 77, of Hopkinton passed on peacefully surrounded by her family on March 29. Born and raised in Torrington, Connecticut, she was the daughter of the late Virginia (Karpetska) and Mitchell Alibozak. She was the beloved wife of Armand Potenza for over 53 years.

Dinny grew up in Torrington and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Connecticut. After graduation, she taught home economics in middle school. She was an active volunteer with a local church, working with her husband as advisors to a high school youth fellowship group and the Futurity House volunteers who made weekly visits to inmates at a drug rehab program that included a live-in day as an inmate for volunteers. Dinny relocated to the Hopkinton area in 1976. As the children’s librarian at the Hopkinton Public Library for 10 years, her engaging story hours, followed by imaginative craft projects tailored to the readings, impacted the early learning years of thousands of Hopkinton children. She belonged to the Whitehall Artisans and excelled in the local art community, leveraging her unique approach to basket weaving that incorporated local, natural elements into her work. She also taught basket weaving to elementary students as a volunteer, conducted classes in her home, and taught a class for women inmates at MCI Framingham. Along with her dear friends Carol Mecagni, Ann Horton and Suzanne Gillam, she facilitated a summer arts program for children that encouraged attendees to showcase and hone their artistic talents. She explored and displayed her creative talents through a wide variety of artistic pursuits, including watercolor painting, Chinese brush painting, chair caning, scherenschnitte, jewelry making, pottery, paper lamp shade cutting, ikebana and haiku poetry.

On the physical side, Dinny devotedly studied and practiced tai chi and qigong, progressing to the level of being a backup teacher for Jeanne Friswell and Robin Natanel. Tai chi led her to exploring reiki, skin tapping and meditation, all of which became important parts of her life and expanded her world view. And she loved her time learning to tap dance with Rebecca Tredeau at the Senior Center and continuing on Zoom during COVID. Nothing was going to stop that crew.

Dinny helped create a permanent gift to the town by chairing a committee of Hopkinton women who created a historical quilt over a three-year period from 1985-88. The quilt is on permanent display in the public hearing room at Town Hall. Her name appears just under the last letter in the word “Hopkinton.” And note the picture of Town Hall to the upper left of the seal. That is Dinny’s square. At the Senior Center, she volunteered her services to continue the work of Carol Walsh, the retired town librarian, by maintaining a library inside the Senior Center with the help of Russ Ellsworth, whose mother was the director of the town library from 1972-91.

In addition to her husband, Dinny is survived by two sons, Christopher Potenza of Hopkinton and Matthew Potenza and wife Catherine of Sterling. She also leaves behind her niece, Tammy Gallo and children Spencer and Mikaela; her nephew, Mitchell L. Alibozak and wife Katherine and children Everett and Isla; several cousins in the Torrington area; as well as four grandchildren, Jessica, Jasmine, Madelyn and Vincent. She is predeceased by her brother, Mitchell “Bill” Alibozak.

Visitation will be held on Friday, April 19, from 3-7 p.m. at Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton, 57 Hayden Rowe Street. A funeral service will be celebrated on Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m. at the Congregational Church of Westborough, 57 West Main Street, Westborough. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of the Hopkinton Seniors, 28 Mayhew Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748.

Obituaries are submissions, typically from funeral homes, that are not subject to the same level of editorial oversight as the rest of the Hopkinton Independent. Obituaries may be edited for grammatical and factual mistakes and clarifications and shortened for space considerations.

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