Elizabeth Lederer

Obituary of Elizabeth Lederer

Elizabeth “Liz” Lederer, RN, 86, of East Haven passed away peacefully on May 9, 2018 at Elim Park in Cheshire surrounded by her family. Liz was a force of strength and kindness to the many lives she touched throughout her long life and a harbor of love and support to her family whom she loved dearly. She is at peace now, back at the side of her beloved husband Dick where they are undoubtedly having another singalong and sharing in the laughter and joy that filled their house for all their years together.

Elizabeth is survived by her three loving children, Mark Lederer (Lesley) of North Kingstown, RI, Daniel Lederer (Laura Mellow) of Portsmouth, RI and MaryBeth Colosky (Doug) of Cheshire, CT. She taught them all the importance of roots and wings and took great pride in the people they grew up to be. Liz was also immensely proud of her three grandchildren, Tom Lederer, Kate Lederer and Zack Colosky, and always found joy in their visits and calls. She lovingly boasted of their accomplishments to those around her and quietly spoiled them with treasures from her luxurious shopping excursions to Xpect Discounts. Above all, she valued and taught the importance of family and of laughing together.

Liz was born February 13, 1932 in Fair Haven, CT to Jack and Katherine (Glennon) Killeen. Throughout her life Liz remained a proud Fair Havener and happily shared stories of Downing Street and the old neighborhood. She was also proud of her Killeen roots and of the deep faith that surrounded her growing up. Her two brothers, Rev. John Killeen and Rev. Bernard Killeen, both deceased, continued her family’s connection and service to the church. Liz is survived by her sister, Peg Schlegel, also of East Haven, who was always one of Liz’s closest confidants and cohorts. It was Peg’s husband, the late Dr. Charles Schlegel, who introduced Liz to his classmate Dick Lederer, an introduction that would bring Liz the greatest joy of her life. Whether it was summers together at The Lake or Sunday night dinners, family was always home to her and brought the simplest and biggest joy to her heart. She was a proud aunt and great aunt to many nieces and nephews and her evolving role as Godmother, mentor and friend continued to the very end.

Beyond her family life, Liz was a very proud graduate of the St. Raphael’s School of Nursing in New Haven, class of 1952, and worked as a Registered Nurse for almost 50 years. Her career began at St. Raphael’s where she eventually became the Head Nurse on Main 3. Nursing was a true passion for Liz and her life was dedicated to providing care to all. She was a no-nonsense leader and was not afraid to confront a doctor or administrator if the situation warranted it. She was one of the last few people to wear her treasured nursing cap and she wore it proudly, knowing what the cap stood for. She eventually retired as the Director of Nursing at Mary Wade Home in Fair Haven, a position that brought her back to her old neighborhood where she donned her nursing cap for the last time. Throughout her life, her nursing friends remained a source of comfort and companionship and she loved talking shop to anyone in the medical field.

Keeping with family tradition, Liz was an avid card player and always looked forward to her weekly game of Gin at her brothers’ home in Derbyshire and later, her weekly Pinochle game with her old classmates. She loved to listen and sing along to Irish music and even played the songs she could on the piano. She also enjoyed her time every summer at the Owenego Beach Club in Branford where she spent time with friends at their spot on “The Hill” discussing the good old days, commenting on the days’ events and critiquing the various weddings and parties setting up for the night. It was a special place to her always, going back to her wedding reception there in 1963.

The last twenty years without her husband were hard ones for Liz as the loss of her great love weighed heavily on her heart. Still, she showed the strength for which she has always been and will always be remembered. She loved her family to the very end and will be missed dearly, but it was time for her to be back with her true love. 

Family will receive friends from 4 –7 p.m. on Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Clancy-Palumbo Funeral Home (Clancy Funeral Home) 43 Kirkham Avenue, East Haven. Funeral procession will leave the Clancy-Palumbo Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 15 at 10:40 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 80 Taylor Avenue, East Haven with Committal to follow at All Saints Cemetery, North Haven.