Shirley Sabo

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PROSPECT — Shirley (Matijosaitis) Sabo, 91, of Prospect, passed away peacefully in her home on March 7, 2024, surrounded by her loving family. She was the beloved wife of the late George A. Sabo Jr., with whom she shared 55 wonderful years of marriage.

Shirley was born on Feb. 17, 1933, in Baltimore, Md., the daughter of Joseph and Anna (Monteville) Matijosaitis. She graduated from Waterbury Catholic High School in 1951 and went on to earn an associate of arts degree from Mattatuck Community College, followed by a bachelor of arts degree cum laude from Southern Connecticut State University.

Shirley dedicated her professional life to education, teaching history and civics at Sacred Heart High School until her retirement in 1992.

A woman of strong faith, Shirley was actively involved in St. Anthony Parish, volunteering for various roles over the years. She was a dedicated member of the Prospect Town Council for 25 years.

Shirley’s Lithuanian heritage instilled in her a passion for her ancestral homeland, particularly during its struggle for independence from the Soviet Union. Inspired by the bravery of the Lithuanian people, Shirley contributed her expertise as a teacher by serving as the director of recruitment for the American Professional Partnership in Lithuanian Education (APPLE), and as a member of APPLE’s board of directors.

Through her work with APPLE, Shirley played a vital role in bringing American teaching methods to Lithuania, helping to shape the education system of the newly independent nation.

Above all, Shirley cherished her time with family, especially during the holidays. She was known for hosting countless gatherings, with her Christmas Eve open house becoming a tradition for her family and friends.

Shirley found solace and joy in nature, particularly through her passion for gardening. She created a “secret garden” that featured her plantings among the terraced stone walls built by her husband George. It was her sanctuary and where she savored her morning coffee and admired the occasional sunset.

In her later years, Shirley discovered a talent for painting, with her secret garden becoming a frequent subject of her artwork.

Shirley is survived by her children, Virginia Sabo-Romero (Roberto) of Washington, D.C., Katherine Blinstrubas (Peter) of Prospect, Elizabeth Sabo of New York, N.Y., Thomas Sabo (Maria) of Wallingford, George Sabo (Erika) of Cheshire, Anne Murphy (Edward) of Middletown, R.I., and Alice Berlin (Mark) of Wayzata, Minn.; 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Shirley was predeceased by her two infant children, George and Mary Alice.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at stjude.org/donate in honor of Shirley’s memory.

Visitation for Shirley was to be on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Prospect Memorial/The Palmerie Family Funeral Home, 122 Waterbury Road, Prospect, CT 06712. A Mass of Christian Burial was to take place March 14, 2024, 10:30 a.m., at St. Anthony Church, 4 Union City Road, Prospect, CT 06712. All were invited to gather before Mass at Prospect Memorial Funeral Home; doors were opened 9 a.m. Burial was to be at the convenience of the family.

You are invited to share your condolences for the Sabo family on Shirley’s Tribute Wall at prospectmemorial.com.