She was born on November 11, 1930, in Supino, Italy daughter of the late Edmondo and Cornelia Bernardi Boni. Stella is survived by her loving daughter Joan, of West Haven and son Edmond of Milford.
She was predeceased by her son, Robert G. Cretella, Jr, her sister Corrine Bernardi and her “baby brother”, Edmond Boni, Jr. She leaves behind her sister-in-law Madelyn Boni, nephews Edmond Boni III (Liz), Gerard Cretella, Jr (Terry), Mark Cretella (Eileen), Paul Cretella, nieces Corrine Boni Vendola (John), Cheryl Boni Kaunfer (Ron), Letisha Marrerios (Tony), several great nieces and nephews and extended family and friends.
Stella was a proud graduate of Hillhouse High School, Class of 1948. She earned an Associates Degree from Larson Jr. College, and a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Laboratory Science from Quinnipiac University. Stella had a long career at Yale School of Medicine Department of Rheumatology as a research associate.
She was proud to be a member of the team responsible for breakthrough research in Lyme Disease. Stella was a pioneer for advocacy in mental health through her volunteerism for this cause as an active and vocal member of The National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI), Region 2 Regional Mental Health Board and Bridges Healthcare, Inc.
Stella was awarded the West Haven Italian American of the Year award in 2008. In 2013, She received Quinnipiac University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Stella was active in her community serving on West Haven’s Board of Education, Republican Town Committee, Housing Authority, Board of Finance, local chapter of the League of Women Voters and the Sons & Daughters of Italy, West Haven, to a name a few.
Stella was an avid reader and enjoyed Italian opera, venturing to the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City with her long time friend Claire Phelan. She was a strong, feisty woman who always spoke her mind. Stella used these talents in public service, support of education, mental health, and the arts. We will treasure the lasting legacy she leaves and will be forever missed.
Her funeral procession will leave the PORTO FUNERAL HOME 830 Jones Hill Rd. West Haven WEDNESDAY morning at 10:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. John Bosco XXIII Parish in St. Louis Church at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery. Family and friends may call WEDNESDAY morning from 8:30 to 10:30.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bridges Healthcare Inc. 949 Bridgeport Ave. Milford, CT. 06460 or CT. Hospice 100 Double Beach Rd. Branford, CT. 06405.