Obituary of Dr. Ann - Margaret Anselmo
Dr. Ann-Margaret Anselmo, 95, died on May 10, 2020 at the Jerome Home in New Britain. Born in New Britain, she was the daughter of Efesio and Benilda Anselmo. She attended local schools and graduated from New Britain High School, after which she attended Saint Joseph College (now the University of Saint Joseph) in West Hartford, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1946. After entering the Sisters of Mercy, where she was first known as Sister Peter Marie, she taught at Laurelton Hall in Milford and Mount Saint Joseph Academy in West Hartford. She then attended the University of Notre Dame where she earned a master’s degree and a doctorate, for which her dissertation was on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Returning to Connecticut, Dr. Anselmo began her teaching career at Saint Joseph College in 1965. She left the religious order in 1976 but remained on the faculty until her retirement in 1990. In addition to teaching courses in English at both the undergraduate and graduate levels specializing in American literature, she also served as acting academic dean for several years. Although the college president encouraged her to assume that post on a permanent basis, Dr. Anselmo opted to return to classroom teaching. Very popular with her students throughout her tenure at the college, through her great enthusiasm she inspired them to appreciate literature and especially the works of Dickinson. In 2013 the university honored her with a Distinguished Alumna Award. While teaching was her first love, Dr. Anselmo will also be remembered for her church-related activities, commitment to social justice issues, community involvement, and ground-breaking ventures in areas previously dominated by men. In 1965, she participated in the voter rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She served as coordinator of the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Commission for Ecumenical Affairs and traveled to Switzerland in 1969 to take part in the World Council of Churches’ conference on “Peace in a Revolutionary Society.” She was the only Roman Catholic participant and one of only three women among 43 men. During that event, she was present at Pope Paul VI’s historic visit to WCC headquarters in Geneva. She was the first woman to serve on the steering and program committee of the New England Consultation of Church Leaders and was the committee’s secretary. Dr. Anselmo exhibited a lifelong loyalty to her hometown of New Britain where she remained active in retirement. She was a member of the New Britain Women’s Club, New Britain Museum of American Art, and New Britain Industrial Museum. She held a lifetime membership in the auxiliary of New Britain General Hospital (now the Hospital of Central Connecticut) and was a volunteer there. She was also a volunteer at Jerome Home where she and her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Molly, were honored for their service in providing pet therapy. She was among nominees for the first Wisdom Award presented by Central Connecticut Senior Health Services for being a “model of healthy aging” and a “senior who continues to inspire.” In addition to her parents, Dr. Anselmo was predeceased by her brothers, Peter and Joseph, and her companion of many years, Edgar Kloiber. She is survived by her nieces and nephews, Robert Anselmo, Paula Anselmo, Joseph Anselmo Jr., Judith Kratzer, Jerome Anselmo, Janis Foster and Jeffrey Anselmo. She is also survived by her loving step family, Robert and Ann Marie Kloiber and their children, Robert Kloiber Jr., Kristin Zelazik, and Kimberly Albert and grandchildren, and her dog, Molly. Her family and many friends are grateful for the care that was given by the staff at the Jerome Home where Dr. Anselmo resided over the past couple years. A memorial service will be scheduled and announced at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the “Dr. Ann-Margaret Anselmo ’46 Endowed Scholarship” fund of the University of St. Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117. Farrell Funeral Home has been entrusted with the service.
Private Service and Burial will be held in St. Mary's Cemetery.