You are invited to a brief birthday celebration on what would have been Kate Orecchio's 85th birthday on Saturday, 2/27/21 from 10:30am - 11:30am. This brief gathering will be held on the Milford Gree...

Kate DeSaussure Orecchio

February 27, 1936February 10, 2021

Kate DeSaussure Orecchio was a bundle of creative energy and optimism. She was loath to throw away anything because she saw its hidden beauty and secret utility. But on Wednesday, Feb. 10th, the artist and visionary let go the body that had served her pretty well for almost 85 years. Kate was a 60-year resident of her beloved Milford, Connecticut, and an active member of the community, participating in; the garden club, the PTA, City Planning and, most of all, Milford Trees. Milford’s own version of the Lorax, Kate not only spoke for the trees, she planted them, nurtured them and placed herself in harm's way to protect them. Her deep affinity for her leafed friends ran so deep that at the end of her life, she began calling her adored husband Thomas her “Sweet Roots” and envisioned becoming one with them when she passed. In 1976 she bought a dilapidated house on the Milford Green which she transformed into a small real estate empire of apartments and commercial spaces. For Kate, it wasn’t just about the income. Over the years many of Kate’s tenants became dear friends. She loved to sit on her deck surrounded by plants, but she never sat still long. There was always something to be planted, trimmed or weeded. And projects! Additions, renovations, antique furniture, gifts, there were always many works in process. Kate will be missed by everyone who knew her and most of all by her husband Ciro “Thomas” Orecchio; three children: Jeff (Michelle), Ann (Mike), and Pete (Cindy); 9 grandchildren: Zoe (Frank), Grace, Joy, Katie, Ryan, Kim (Steve), Aaron, Miranda, Karina, and 2 great grandchildren: Kylie and Mia; and her sole surviving sibling, Courtenay Austin. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Milford Trees Inc., PO Box 5082, Milford, CT 06460. Or plant a tree in her honor. Do it yourself. If she were still here, she would have been delighted to show you how. You are invited to a brief birthday celebration on what would have been Kate Orecchio's 85th birthday on Saturday, 2/27/21 from 10:30am - 11:30am. This brief gathering will be held on the Milford Green directly in front of Kate & Tom's home on Broad St. This event will be socially distanced & masked. Mom's wishes were that we gather on The Green and sing her Happy Birthday & sing we will! No refreshments will be served. The weather in Milford is currently looking like snow and/or rain for most of that day. If the weather prevents you from attending, please remember Kate by singing her a hearty Happy Birthday wherever you may be. This is not intended to be Kate's memorial service so if you are unable to attend you won't be missing the real celebration of Kate's life. We will hold that sometime in the spring or summer, as soon as it is safe to do so. We will post more information on Kate's future memorial service as plans develop. For more information on this gathering and a future memorial service please reach out to


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Kate DeSaussure Orecchio

have a memory or condolence to add?

David Palasits

February 27, 2021

My family and I enjoyed being with Kate when she visited Ann, Mike, Joy and Katie in Columbia. She was always upbeat, friendly, welcoming and full of laughter.

When my wife Becky died ,she gave the kids and me a beautiful gift that reminds me every day of Becky and Kate -- a Japanese maple tree -- that Ann, Mike and Katie planted on my front yard in May 2015.

I recall well a conversation we had while driving from Katie's National Honor Society ceremony in October 2017 to Ann and Mike's home in Columbia. She inspired me to live more joyfully, sharing some of her life story. She was kind, encouraging and sensitive. I will indeed miss her laughter at Ann and Mike's home, and am so grateful I get to say "hello" to her every time I look at the Japanese Maple Tree she gave us after Becky died. I raise a glass to salute Kate and thank her for adding joy to my life.

Karen Quinn-Panzer

February 21, 2021

One of my fondest memories of Kate is when she invited Frank and I to stay in her B&B during Hurricane Sandy, since our house was 5 houses away from the Sound. Kate was always more of a friend than a landlady when we were there with Village Vogue Boutique. She often stopped by for a glass of wine or Moscow Mule when we held our All you Can Wear shopping parties. I will always remember the front page newspaper picture of Kate standing in front of a tree to keep it from being removed. She also took our sons, Chris and Nick, to do community service tree plantings in Milford. Kate, you will be sorely missed by so many people!! A life well-lived!!!!!

Paula Chapla

February 21, 2021

Dearest Tom, Pete, Jeff and Ann -

My condolences on your loss. Kate was one of the best people I have had the opportunity to know. We had celebrations together over the years as Tom and I shared the same birthdate, and they were always memorable. I have paperwhites that she gave me years ago, and I planted them and have split them over the years. This spring, they will mean even more to me when they bloom.

Again, my heartfelt condolences.

Paula Chapla

Maura Cameron

February 20, 2021

Growing up (Mrs.Jassil)Kate, was always my favorite mom in the neighborhood. Fun and kind, I have so many nice memories of her including growing strawberries next to her driveway on Whitney Ave and driving everyone around in her big station wagon, always smiling and optimistic. She was friends with my Mom and Dad and was always at parties and events they had when they were living.
As an adult I ran in to her in Milford center or at funerals or memorials for people in our old neighborhood.
She was the kind of person that sparked joy! Sending condolences to Ann, Jeff, Pete and Tom at this sad time!
Sincerely, Maura Cameron Cannon

Lorraine Covello

February 20, 2021

Marriage brought us together but I regard Kate more as a sister than sister-in-law.She become a true friend and a valuable part of the Orecchio family. In good times and times of trouble she was a person to count on. An eternal optimist with a warm smile and infectious laugh, she always saw the worth in people... always looked for that silver lining. She enriched my brother's life more than words can say...She will truly be missed.