Anne Petruso Lombard

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Anne Lombard, who was born in Meadville at 1228 Park Avenue to Joseph and Martha Petruso on June 15, 1928, passed away June 11 in Los Angeles. Anne graduated from Meadville Senior High School. She earned a degree in home economics from Indiana University (then Indiana State Teachers College) in 1949, taught her first class of students in Guys Mills, and married Rocci Lombard, of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania on December 26, 1951 in St. Mary's Catholic Church, where she and her younger sister Vinnie sang in the choir. After living on Poplar Street, Anne and Rocci built their own house on Dickson Road in Crawford County, and in 1960, they moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Anne was a forward-thinking teacher who inspired generations of students at Northeast Senior High School where she taught for 25 years and pioneered, "Modern Family Living" a life skills class she developed to prepare her students to join the contemporary world with its rapidly changing demands. Also respected as an outstanding soprano, she performed in faculty revues, making her one of the best-known teachers on campus.

"Anne Lombard was a friend and second mother to her students. She truly cared about us and we adored her. Reconnecting with her as an adult was a treat," said Elsa Johnson, now a CPA based in Boca Raton. "She was always so patient," Elsa recalled, "and wanted us to feel good about ourselves. One of the most memorable recipes was her famous popovers. Mine always fell flat, but she would point out that the color was perfect! She loved her students and she loved teaching."

In retirement, Anne joined her husband in the Ross, Lombard and Ballard Insurance firm he established in 1970. She was a community activist, planting trees throughout Fort Lauderdale and launched the inaugural Community Appearance Board awards. She also began a new career as a real estate broker with Intracoastal Realty, earning her last commission check at the age of 80. The Lombards were members of the Tower Club, where Anne was the first woman to serve on the board, and of the Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club.

After 24 years in northeast Fort Lauderdale, the Lombards, with their contractor son John and architect daughter Joanna, restored a mid-century modern home by architect Robert Little on Idlewyld Drive near Las Olas. They later built a new house on nearby Clematis Place designed by Joanna and her husband Denis Hector. The house became the cover of the Princeton Architectural Press book, A House for My Mother: Architects Build for their Families. A family photo from 1958 appeared on the flyleaf.

In 2014, the Lombards moved to Los Angeles to live with their daughter Patty who is co-publisher of the Larchmont Buzz news blog. With both daughters, they renovated their residence and built an outdoor kitchen where Anne baked bread and pizza in her forno and held small classes in breadmaking. She also started a cooking blog and in her 80s, reconnected with her Northeast High students on Facebook, sharing recipes and advice.

She is survived by her husband Rocci, son John Lombard (Claudia), daughter Joanna Lombard (Denis Hector), and daughter Patty Lombard (Bill Simon) and six grandchildren, Dorothy Anne and William Hector, Joseph and Matthew Lombard, Emily and Alexandra Simon, as well as her sister, Josephine Bartley, and brother, Sandy Petruso. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alexandria House (https://www.alexandriahouse.org), a transitional shelter for women and children.
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Published on August 5, 2019
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2 posts

Maria Trotta Digiacomo
Aug 10, 2019
Rocci and family,
My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
I'm a Sharpsville relative. My mother, Angela DeSantis Trotta was your cousin and the niece of Olivia Lombardi. We visited you in Ft Lauderdale in the 70's.
I fondly remember all of you. Anne was such a lovely
lady.
With my sympathies,
Maria Trotta Digiacomo
Patricia Lombard
Aug 04, 2019
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