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Ann Laraja
In Memory of

Ann P. Laraja

1924 - 2018

Obituary of Ann P. Laraja


Ann P. Laraja, a resident of Westport for more than 80 years, died Sept. 6 in Vero Beach, Florida. She was 93.

She was born in New York on Oct. 19, 1924. She graduated from high school in Mount Vernon, New York in 1942, where she was part of an accelerated class for exceptional math students. 

In 1946, she graduated from New Jersey College for Women (Rutgers/Douglass) with a BA in psychology.

She married Frank D. Laraja on June 28, 1947. As they began a family she found time to volunteer for several organizations that helped children and adults suffering from illnesses such as the Cerebral Palsy Association, the American Cancer Society, and the march of Dimes.

She also worked on a United Nations study of Japanese-American children interned during World War II.

It was when she began volunteering at Norwalk Hospital in the mid 1960s that she found her true calling and sense of purpose. 

While working in the operating room, she was asked to start a volunteer program for the emergency room. She then replicated that program for Bridgeport Hospital.

In 1974, she became an EMT and worked for the Westport Volunteer Ambulance Service until 1982. The challenges and immediacy of EMT work was where her organizational skills, knowledge of procedures and dedication to service came together.

She was a friendly, caring person, always curious to know and understand the people she met and grew to love. She dearly enjoyed playing bridge throughout her lifetime and will always be remembered for her inviting smile, warm laugh, and ready advice.

Her husband, Frank and her son, Donald, predeceased her. She is survived by her daughter, Dianne L. Gilmore of Norwalk, two granddaughters; Mika Durrell of Martha ’s Vineyard and Emma Gilmore of Cape Cod, and two great granddaughters.

Interment will be held on Friday, October 12, 2018 at 11:00AM at the family plot here at Willowbrook Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, 50 Jesup Road, Westport, CT 06880.  You may leave a condolence here on this page for the family.

Local arrangements are under the direction of the Harding's of Westport.