Remembering Michele Deitch

Michele Deitch – a noted occupational therapist, and multi-talented loving mother and wife — died peacefully on Thursday, after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 50 years old.

The Brooklyn native studied flute, and became an accomplished classical performer, at the High School of Music and Arts (now La Guardia) in Manhattan.

She went on to graduate with a degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. She earned a master’s in occupational therapy at Columbia University, and set up successful practices in Manhattan and Westport. She was an expert with younger children, developing customized programs to support their unique needs and assist them in overcoming obstacles. Michele’s empathy, creativity and skill changed the lives of countless children.

Michele Deitch

Michele cherished carefree times growing up at her family’s summer home on Fire Island, where the only transportation was ferries and old wagons. She and her husband David recreated that magical setting with their own idyllic escape on Chebeague Island off the coast of Maine. They had a small bungalow that family and friends enjoyed.

Michele was intensely caring and empathetic, always willing to do anything to support everyone, from her closest friends to a receptionist she met one time at her doctor’s office.

She also loved to travel and explore, whether distant foreign destinations, across the US or in little Connecticut nooks. Michele was filled with the wonders of nature and the simple joys of being surrounded by people she loved. She gave much more than she received.

Michele is survived by her husband of 18 years; sons Joshua (16) and Jonathan (13), and her constant companion, Vinci, the family’s goldendoodle. She is also survived by her brother Dr. David Biro (Daniella Vitale), and sisters Lisa Biro Finn (Michael), Debbie Biro Guarna (Anthony); sisters-in-law Donna Rempell (David) and Deborah Mansi (Bob); nieces and nephews Emma and Kaila Finn, Benjamin and Xander Guarna, Daniel and Luca Biro, and Dr. Joshua and Ben Rempell.

The family is grateful for the help and care given by Michele’s exceptional medical team at the Wittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, including the support staff and her primary home care aide, Yolette Jean Francois.

Memorial contributions in Michele’s name can be made to National Public Radio or the American Civil Liberties Union. Click here to leave condolences and memories.

5 responses to “Remembering Michele Deitch

  1. Wendy Van Wie

    My heart is broken for Michele’s husband David – who was one of Westport’s wonderful middle school teachers before he retired to care for his wife. Theirs was a great romance.

  2. Michele was the most giving person I’ve ever known. I can still hear her laugh.

  3. Elaine Clayton

    I’m shocked and upset to learn this. Michelle and her family lived directly behind us at one point in our lives in Westport and we became close. Michelle was a wonderfully loving and protective, engaging mother to her sons and a dear friend to me, supportive of my own two older sons. The Deitch family had an impact on us in many ways as David taught our sons at Bedford. I regret that in the past couple of years I hadn’t been much in touch with Michelle and truly stricken by the loss of this beautiful, warmly intelligent, loving, kind and vivacious woman.

  4. Michele was a student of mine at Columbia University. I remember her so well as being not only a wonderful student but a very lovely person. I send all my condolences to all who loved her. May her memory always be a blessing. Pam Miller

  5. Deirdre Shaner Griffin

    I am deeply saddened by Michele’s passing. She and I met some years ago as practicing pediatric occupational therapists for the communities within Fairfield County. We met periodically over lattes at Terrain or for walks at Compo Beach with our dogs to discuss pursuits within our profession or to share in the delight and challenges of raising our children in Westport. She will be sorely missed and was a soulful, bright, caring and beautiful person inside and out. My heartfelt prayers are with David and her boys.