She was a modern woman, years ahead of her time, who enjoyed both loving family life and a fulfilling career. Anne was a Nursing Pioneer in New Haven during the 1940’s and 1950’s.
The daughter of Rocco and Carmella Simeone Petrillo, Anne was born in New Haven, CT on August 3rd, 1920. She graduated from Hill House High School, and was the Class Secretary & Treasurer for the Class of 1938. Anne attended the Hartford Hospital School of Nursing on a full academic scholarship and became a Registered Nurse in 1940.
After completing her Nursing degree, Anne attended Columbia University in New York City on full academic scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree from the Columbia Teacher’s College in 1943. After college, Anne resumed her Nursing career at Hartford Hospital for several years, and then returned to New Haven and worked at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Anne became a pioneer for modern Nursing changes at Yale New Haven and several other area hospitals. She was instrumental in developing and implementing new Nursing techniques for Surgical Recovery rooms, and Labor and Delivery Suites while at Yale. She rose through the ranks to become Surgical Head Nurse, and culminated her career as the Nursing Director of the Yale New Haven Emergency department in the late 1950’s.
While working at the Yale Emergency Room, Anne met the love of her life, her future husband, Walter H. Palkowski. They were married for 33 years at the time of his passing. After taking time to raise her family, Anne returned to her beloved nursing profession in the 1970’s and worked for Surgical Associates of New Haven until her retirement in 1997.
Anne was one of 10 children and was predeceased by siblings Stephen Petrillo, Salvatore Petrillo, Edward Petrillo, Connie Miller, Albert Petrillo, Josephine Santo, Rudy Petrillo, Doris Iadonisi, and Lucille Zito. She is survived by her son, Walter E. Palkowski of Orange, his wife, Cathleen and her two grandsons, Matthew Palkowski and Alex Palkowski. And her daughter: Dr. Marilyn Smith of Easton, CT., and her husband Ken Smith and her grandson Taylor Smith and granddaughter Kelley Smith.
Anne lived in Orange for 51 years and was a loyal Parishioner of Holy Infant Church. She was a member of the Holy Infant Church Woman’s Guild; the Holy Infant Holy Name Society, and the Orange Land Trust.
Friends may call at MARESCA & SONS FUNERAL HOME 592 Chapel St. on Sunday from 4 to 7 pm and are invited to go directly to Holy Infant Church 450 Race Brook Rd., Orange to attend her Mass of Christian Burial on Monday at 10 am. Burial will follow in Orange Center Cemetery.