Barbara Jean Lapolla, 80


Barbara Jean Lapolla, 80, a lifetime resident of New Canaan, CT, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family at her home on June 29, 2021. She was born on March 8, 1941 in Norwalk to the late James and Emma Cerretani Tiani. Barbra was the loving and devoted wife to Vito Lapolla of New Canaan and mother of Jennifer Lapolla Mardorf. 

Barbara Jean Lapolla

Barbara was known for her kindness, beautiful smile, compassion, deep faith, and positive outlook on life. She was dedicated to her family, her faith and her two careers. Her first career began upon graduation from Marywood University. Barbara Jean worked for Andy Robustelli at Robustelli Travel in Stamford, CT for over 20 years. Her second career took her back to New Canaan High School, the school she adored and graduated from in 1959. Barbara was the Attendance Secretary at New Canaan High School. She loved the student body, teachers, administration and staff. They became her second family. Barbara worked at the New Canaan High School for over 20 years. 

In addition to her careers, Barbara served the community through volunteering efforts and on boards such as The New Canaan Library and Waveny Care Center. 

Barbara is survived by her husband of 53 years Vito Lapolla, her daughter whom she loved and cherished Jennifer G. Mardorf and husband Kevin of New Canaan. She is also survived by her brother James Tiani and his wife Linda of Oakton, VA. and a nephew, Matthew Tiani and his wife Joy of Vienna, VA. as well as nephews Joseph Vitti, Robert Lapolla, Louis Lapolla, Tony Lapolla, Frank Lapolla, and nieces MaryAnn DeFelice, Judy Strba and their spouses. She is also survived by numerous great nieces and nephews, many of whom were as close to her as if they were her own children. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday July 3, 2021 at St. Aloysius Church, 23 Cherry Street, New Canaan at 9:30 am. Interment will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan. A walk-through visitation will be held on July 2, 2021 at the Hoyt Funeral Home, 199 Main Street, New Canaan from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Donations can be made in Barbara’s name to the New Canaan High School Scholarship Fund. Please send donations to the attention of Principal Bill Egan, New Canaan High School, 11 Farm Road, New Canaan, CT 06840.

The Mass will be live streamed at the following link:

50 thoughts on “Barbara Jean Lapolla, 80

  1. Wow. This is such heart breaking news. I spoke to Barb so many times over the years at the attendance office. She just retired. I am heartbroken for her family. Sending love and prayers to her entire family. Please know she was absolutely adored by all of us!

  2. Robin, thank you for your condolences. Mom loved working at the school and all the people she came in contact with over the years.

  3. This is such sad news. I have such fond memories of my years working at NCHS with your Mom. She was such a lovely lady with a beautiful smile. My family had a long friendship with your family and I am heart broken for you and your family. My prayers and condolences to your family.

  4. Prayers and love from the O’Connell Family.
    Barbara was simply the best!
    God Bless Barbara
    Xo – Robin O’C

  5. Sending love from the Seelert family. Adored her . Like so many of us, we talked to her countless times. She was so always kind and understanding. ❤️

  6. Mrs Lapolla was the very best voice on the other end of the phone. Every time I would call in an absence of one of my children she would end the call w/a gentle “Aww, I hope (X) feels better.” We missed her when she retired this past year, and miss her especially now. -Boardie Kurz

  7. Barbara was a beautiful, loving and caring woman. She will be sorely missed by all of us. Prayers, hugs and love for all of the family.

  8. Barbara was always such a nonjudgemental advocate for all of our kids. She never made us parents feel bad when our kids did something “awkward”. My most treasured memory of her was when she wrote a letter of support for my son, after he sideswiped her car, deconstructing a NCHS musical set!. She was just a fabulous person! I love this photo of her, which I’m fairly certain was from her daughter’s wedding, which she proudly showed me and was over the moon about! She is a beautiful person I will miss see around town!

  9. Barbara was an angel on Earth. She was one of the kindest, most compassionate, calm, pleasant and caring people I’ve ever known. She never hesitated to drop what she was doing to help a student, parent, coach or teacher in need. I was blessed to have worked with her. May she be resting in peace. I’m so sorry for your tremendous loss.

  10. I always loved my quick chats with Barbara when I called The school. She was such a nice and kind woman. She will be missed.
    And I didnt Know she worked in travel! My kindred spirit! My deepest condolences to her family and May she smile upon us from above.

  11. Our hearts are breaking…Barbara was patient, loving, endearing—the epitome of, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” St. Mother Teresa.
    So very sorry for The Lapolla Family and the New Canaan community’s loss of beautiful Barbara.
    XO The Devitt’s

    • Lovely statement! Thank you for this. It’s so nice to hear all the ways mom touched people’s lives.

  12. Barbara was a wonderful positive presence at NCHS. And if there was ever a difference between my records and hers, I went with hers. Best to you, Jen.

  13. I am so sorry to hear the news about Barbara. She was always the friendly voice from HS at the other end of the phone calling with some news for me.
    My sincere condolences to the Lapolla family

    Denise Gannalo

  14. As a parent and volunteer, I loved talking to Barbara Jean at New Canaan High School. For a few years we shared a backyard boundary and got to be neighborhood friends as well. I knew she was looking out for all the kids in town; what a great feeling that was!
    My condolences to the Lapolla family. Thank you for sharing her with all of us!
    Lori Kelly

  15. May Mrs. Lapolla rest in peace and may her family and friends have comfort and peace at this hard time. I’ll always remember these things about her. She always chose kindness. Also, it amazed me she remembered my name when outside the school environment and always had a friendly hello there too.

  16. I have many FOND memories of Barbara fro the years I worked with her at NCHS. She made me feel most welcome when I first came to work there. My condolences to all her family. HElEN CASINELLI

  17. Dear Jennifer and Vito, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Barbara was always cheerful, friendly and always had a smile on her face. When we would meet, she would always talk about you and showed me pictures of your wedding. I remember her from NCHS and St. Aloysius Church. You were always at The Stations of the Cross. She is at peace now. I’m sure those memories you share will bring you much comfort.
    Love, prayers and my Sincere Sympathy.
    Rosemary V. Gillespie

  18. Barbara was definitely part of the family at NCHS, a mother and grandmother figure who simply took care of things for other people. We missed her when she retired this year. But Barbara being Barbara, she still kept in contact, always one of the first to appreciate a colleague’s family post on facebook, or to wish someone a happy birthday. Lapolla family, you are in my thoughts today.

  19. Mr. Lapolla & Jennifer
    I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful wife and mother. She was a true warrior.
    My sincere condolences to the entire Lapolla family.
    Karen Tiani Hussey

  20. Dear Vito and Jennifer so sorry to be reading the news of Barbara’s passing. I met all three of you while I was working at New Canaan Pharmacy. I have so many fond memories of Barbara and Vito they would always make me laugh. And I remember the kind words you had for me when you found out about my cancer.

    • I often think about you when I go into the pharmacy and really miss seeing you there! It’s was so nice to read your comments. Thank you!

  21. Oh my! I’m shocked to hear this very sad news. Shocked also to learn that Barbara was 80! She was just the nicest person to deal with at NCHS. Always tried to help with any issue, regularly wishing my daughter well when she was away for competitions and congratulating her on achievements. Thoughtful and caring. My sincere condolences to her family.

  22. Barbara was such a gentle soul. An icon at NCHS. i loved chatting with her. i spoke to her so many times and popped in office. She was so kind to the kids. Really a special lady. She was loved by so many. Hugs and prayers to her family.

  23. What a good woman. She was always optimistic, cheerful and kind in her many years at NCHS. I knew her through Saint Aloysius Church where she was a devout faithful Catholic. Her faith was quiet but strong .
    Barb was one of the first to befriend the Goodmans when we moved here 42 years ago. Susan and Gene Goodman and Family

  24. My sincere condolences to the LaPolla family. I was shocked to read this sad news. Barb always made me and my family feel so special. Whenever I was in the HS I always stopped by the attendance office to say hi and without fail Barb would greet me with her wonderful smile and a warm hello. She was unflappable, kind and always took the time to help with whatever we needed. She will be missed. Thinking of her family and sending love and prayers to all.

  25. Dear family
    Ouf condolences on your loss.
    As her younger cousin I looked up to Barbara Jean. Wanted to be like her. When our parents would get together she was stuck with me, tagging along.
    Had great memories of Shemans Island, water skiing, sun bathing and yes eating!
    Praying for all of you, hugs Cathy Morgan aka Punkin

  26. Dear Vito and Jennifer,
    Our condolences on the loss of a wonderful wife and mother.
    We remember Barbara with great fondness during our many years of friendship. Her smile was winning to all of us who enjoyed her company and hospitality.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
    Rita and Bill

  27. Dear Vito and Jennifer, Barbara welcomed our family so warmly to the Highschool. She was always so helpful and patient at the office, she was very personable and took the time to be warm and caring. Our love for the color red carried from the Cardinals to the Rams. We have now moved out of New Canaan but Barbara’s greeting will always be warming to our hearts.
    The Ellis Family

    • Thank you, Julie. I remember mom talking about you and your family especially since you are Cardinals fans! I will extend your condolences to my father.

  28. Jennifer and Vito
    Our condolence from the Ruccis on your loss. She was a special person whose life will be remembered long after we are all gone. She provided that special connection in bridging the generations of families attending the New Canaan High school. She made us all feel special. We will miss her.

  29. Barbara was lovely to speak with when you called the attendance office. She always wished my boys good luck when they were missing school for hockey or lacrosse tournaments. And she always told them to feel better when they were out sick. Condolences to her family.

  30. Dear Vito, Jennifer and Family,
    It is with heavy heart that I am trying to absorb the news of Barbara Jean’s passing. We worked so well together as attendance secretaries for many years during which time we shared talks about family updates. We had many laughs but also strongly supported each other whenever one of us hit a bump in the road. She was there for me during the loss of my mom. She never complained. I smile when I recall her limping around the office after Jennifer hit her foot by accident with a shopping cart! That did not stop Barbara Jean. She was a real trooper! She always moved forward and was so strong in her Faith. Her kindness and compassion for others and her love of family knew no boundaries. She will be missed by many but the memories we have of her will forever be held close to our hearts. Sincerest regards from the Dulski family.

  31. What a lovely lady and so much fun to be around.! I will never forget sitting next to her watching you and Ashley play in all of your doubles matches and how we would both get a few disapproving looks when we cheered a little too loudly when we should have been quiet spectators. I really miss those days and will cherish those memories forever!

    • Thank you for reminding me of those days! It brought a smile to my face. Those were fun times!

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