Palmyra Suriano Breakell

June 21, 1927December 5, 2011

Palmyra (Pam) Suriano Breakell, a registered nurse and long-time resident of Stamford, died on December 5, 2011. She is survived by her husband Dr. Edward S. Breakell; her two children Robert and Jody-Lynn; five grandchildren Nichole Miller, Christopher Suttile, Jeb Breakell, Michele Suttile and Erik Breakell; and, one great-grandchild Sofie Anne Miller. Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 pm on Thursday, December 8 at Leo P. Gallagher Funeral Home, 2900 Summer Street, Stamford, CT. The funeral mass will be at 10 am on Friday, December 9 at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 4 Riverside Avenue, Riverside, CT. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to The Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, or to the charity of your choice. Pam Suriano Breakell was born in The Bronx, NYC and graduated as a registered nurse from Flower & Fifth Avenue Hospital where she was a member of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps. Upon graduation, she worked in the emergency room and clinic at Flower & Fifth Avenue Hospital and in the operating room at Fitch Hospital in The Bronx. When she married Dr. Breakell in 1949, whom she met as a student nurse while he was an intern, she moved to Stamford and worked as an operating room nurse at Stamford Hospital. In 1951, uprooted by the onset of the Korean War, she was head nurse of the Officers’ Ward at the US Army Hospital in Fort Devens, Massachusetts and subsequently at the Bronx Veterans’’ Hospital. She returned to Stamford in 1952 with her husband and devoted the next thirteen years to raising her two children. During this time she was active as a Red Cross blood volunteer and as an advisor to local Girl Scout programs. In 1965, she returned to work at Stamford Hospital primarily in the emergency room but also was trained and worked in the newly developing intensive care unit. In 1970, she assisted Dr. Clayton Weed in the first out-patient methadone program in Stamford which began operation in the Stamford Hospital emergency room. This program expanded rapidly and was transferred to the Stamford Health Department where Pam worked to develop policies and procedures and provided treatment and counseling to the clients. In 1971, she moved to Sterling Drug Company in Stamford where she served as an industrial nurse, organizing the department and serving the medical needs of 175 employees. In 1972, as the methadone program was reorganized into Drug Liberation Program, Pam was asked to rejoin this effort as supervisor of nursing services of what would become a multi-modality program with both inpatient and outpatient programs for patients addicted to drugs or alcohol. In 1978, the Connecticut State Legislature awarded her a special citation for twenty-five years of dedicated service in the treatment of substance abuse. Additionally, she became a certified AIDS counselor and with her husband helped start the first AIDS counseling and testing program in Connecticut. Active in Catholic faith communities through the years, Pam and Ed as members of the Emmaus Community, initiated social justice outreach including traveling to rural Appalachia during the 1970s to deliver medical supplies and establish a rural health clinic. After retiring and moving to Florida, Pam continued her commitment to social justice programs with the St. John the Evangelist Church in Viera, Florida. Her many hours of volunteering included the making of more than 2,000 rosaries that were distributed to missions throughout the developing world. In addition to her children, their spouses, grandchildren and their spouses, and great grandchild, Pam was a tough-love mother-figure and mentor to countless nieces and nephews, friends and those she served. She is remembered as a dear friend and colleague for her compassion and charity.


  • Visitation Thursday, December 8, 2011
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, December 9, 2011

Palmyra Suriano Breakell

have a memory or condolence to add?


December 26, 2011

Robo, you may or may not remember me, my name is John and we did our master degree theisis together way back before technology. Anyway, I want to extend my condolences to you and to all of your family in the passing of your mom. I too recently lost my dad. Please accept my sincere thoughts and prayers. Take special care, john

Marie Romaniello

December 14, 2011

Dear Jody:

I'm so sorry to learn about the loss of your mom. What a beautiful obituary. I now know where your wonderful leadership qualities come from. Love and peace.

December 11, 2011

Please except our sincere condolences to your entire family.
Bunnie and Gil Parsons
Cheri Parsons Krampert

Eleanor Salerno

December 7, 2011

The "Sunday Dinner" table up there is getting REALLY big :-) Love and prayers to all.


December 7, 2011

Rest in peace Aunt Pam, Your dedication and love for your family was inspiring to me. You set an example that I try to live up to every day. I will love you and miss you forever.

December 7, 2011

Ed, Please accept my heartfelt sympathy.Pam and I didn't always agree, but I will always remember her as I use her great recipes. Rest in peace,Pam.
Jackie Santagata, Shelton, Ct.

Ron Goggins

December 7, 2011

Bob - My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

December 7, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Robbo, and your family. Your Mom will always be with you as long as you keep fond memories of her in your heart.
Sandy Aitchison