Longtime Westporter and active volunteer Betty Cabral died yesterday. She was 84.
Born to Italian immigrants John Palmer (Palmieri) and Rosa Pagliaro Palmer, she loved her childhood surrounded by colorful characters on Richmondville Avenue. Her family worked at the nearby mill, and built homes near each other where they raised chickens, grew vegetables, had fruit trees, made wine, and celebrated life.
She was an enthusiastic Staples High School cheerleader, and an excellent student. After graduating in 1955, she met her soul mate Joe Cabral at Central Connecticut State College, where both earned advanced teaching degrees.
They married and raised their children, Susan Cabral Hiltz (Harry) and Kevin Cabral (Laura).
Betty and Joe founded The Hair Place in 1968. It was a successful mom-and-pop business for decades, and they forged lifelong friendships there.
After Joe died when she was in her early 40s, Betty ran the salon business, and built a life for herself and her children in the community and Assumption Church. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters, and an active liturgical participant.
In her neighborhood everyone was welcome to Halloween celebrations, teen hangout sessions and summer pool parties.
She was a gourmet Italian cook, a professional-level seamstress and a baker. Considered a close family member to many friends and relatives, she snapped pictures at weddings, baby showers, birthdays and holiday celebrations.
Betty helped many people make sense of the world. She always had a kind word, steady demeanor, touch of the hand, and a nudge in the right direction.
She is survived by her 2 children; grandchildren Hayden, Logan, Lianna, Hailey, Payton, Amy, Kate, Chevy, Nathan, Emily, James and Thomas; brother Carlo (Marcey); nephew Michael Palmer and his family; several godchildren; cousins; scores of friends, and her devoted dog Mitzy.
A funeral will be held Tuesday (April 12, 10 a.m.) at Assumption Church for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will be in Willowbrook Cemetery 395 Main Street Westport, CT. There are no calling hours.
Condolences for the family may be left online here. In lieu of flowers, contribution in memory of Betty may be made to Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.