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Dorothy Elizabeth Partezana (nee: Tomko) died peacefully on November 16, 2023 at the age of 93. Beloved wife of 70 years to Robert (deceased), Dearest Mother of Robert Partezana (Jean), William Partezana and Sharon Partezana-Armstrong (Jerry). Shelia Partezana (deceased) and Joseph (deceased) Partezana. Loving Grandmother of Wendy Wegener- Robinson (Quinton), Jason Wegener, Great Grandmother of Q’darr Robinson. Cousin and friend to many and she truly was the people’s Grandma.
Dorothy was born on September 14, 1930, as an only child of Edward Tomko. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio at Woman’s Hospital and brought home from the hospital by her Father and Grandparents. Her Grandfather, Grandmother and Father were all natives of Hungary. Her Grandparents journeyed to Cleveland and raised the family on East 30th.
During her school years at Wilson Junior High, she liked to play the piano. She worked at Woolworth’s in downtown Cleveland to help provide for herself and family. Her Father died when she was 14 and she stayed with her Grandmother and Grandfather until their death. She then spent summers at her father’s brother Uncle John and winter at her father’s sister Aunt Betty. Not an easy life but she made the best of it.
At age 14 she met Dad (Robert Partezana), and that is when her life changed. Anywhere Dad was, Mom wanted to be. They spent many days in the library (studying). They wrote many love letters back and forth which are still sealed in a Whitman’s box of Chocolate’s (from 1944). They were married for 70 years.
They married September 30, 1950, at St Columbkille church. In 1952 their first child, Robert Edward, was born and in 1953 William Joseph. During that time living with Dad’s family on E36th. By 1955, with 2 children and living in a two-room apartment, Mom and Dad purchased their own house ($12,000 with a $95 monthly mortgage), where they would live together for 66 years. They were so happy to have a place of their own and a place to build their family foundation. In 1957 Sharon Ann was born, in 1964 Shelia Marie, and in 1965 Joseph Michael.
Mom worked various part time jobs; catering weddings, as a gas station attendant, the voting polls, NCB statement clerk and with Dad as a packer at Areway Inc. until they both retired in December 1995.
We enjoyed Sunday’s, it was family time together. First it was church, board games, music, dancing, some karaoke and we watched Roller Derby on our black and white TV. Then we enjoyed homemade dinners where we all shared the biggest and best meal of the week. Dad would also mix a little wine in our lemonade (little did he know it would later be known as a Sun Country wine cooler.) We thought that was the best, but Mom would give Dad the eye as he poured.
Mom and Dad’s house was the place where all the neighborhood kids would come to play and swim. We were all so close and one time a neighbor mentioned the Beatles were going to have a layover at the Cleveland Tank plant (I-X Center) in Brookpark, so Mom loaded all the kids in the car (remember no seat belt rules then) and off we went to get that quick glimpse of that famous group. She enjoyed seeing all the smiles on our faces.
Later grandchildren were born, 1975 Wendy Marie and 1982 Jason Michael. Whenever they were over, they felt like she understood what they liked and that they were the most important grandchildren in the world when talking to her. She would teach them how to be money savvy by clipping coupons and giving them little tasks to do. Then in 1998 great-grandson Q’darr Dominic was born. Mom and Dad helped take care of Q’darr in his early years while Wendy worked. Through the years they traveled all around to watch Q’darr in all of his different sports and activities. He loved having them there to cheer him on.
Mom was very active, in her 80’s she was still walking on a treadmill in the basement and riding her stationary bike. Her and Dad walked the metro parks, malls and even Home Depot and Walmart. They were not there to shop just to walk inside during the winter to get that exercise.
Mom’s life slowed a little in 2016 at 86 having been found with Stage 2 breast cancer. After a surgery and radiation, she was cancer free. She took it all in stride and kept moving forward.
In 2020 Mom’s life really changed, she was always fast in running around and one time fell and broke the left side of her pelvis. She had surgery and a steel rod was connected to her pelvis and down her leg. Recovery was slow at 89. Then 6 months later unfortunately fell again and broke the right side of her pelvis. This time recovery took a little longer and she had to stay at a rehab center. In the mean-time Dad’s health was declining with Leukemia, we did all we could for him, but time for him to be with God.
Mom was then released from the rehab only to come home and find after 76 years together Dad was no longer there. We then decided it best to move her to Story Point in Medina so she could be around people and socialize. It was good but she always longed for Dad.
We were so blessed to have spent much quality time with Mom and Dad traveling on short vacations to Florida, Nevada, California, Washington DC, Canada. We visited Amish Country, Hartsville, many Ohio wineries where she enjoyed tasting wines and listening to great music. We cannot forget the many casino bus trips, clambakes, birthday parties and events where you could always catch her on the dance floor with a smile from ear to ear.
Mom kept life very simple, but she was surrounded by riches. Not money, not possessions, but the rich love of family, her true love, and endless love from so many others.
How truly Blessed and Thankful we are to have been given this opportunity to spend so much time with our Mom and see her to 93 years old. She will forever be our rock, our strength, our role model and forever in our hearts.
We would like to thank CorsoCare Hospice and Story Point Senior Living and their staff for the wonderful care they provided to Mom during her stay. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to CorsoCare Hospice or the Cleveland Clinic Moll Cancer Center. All Services are Private. SERVICES ENTRUSTED TO A. RIPEPI & SONS FUNERAL HOME, MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, (WEST OF I-71)