July 22nd, 1948 — Feb. 1st, 2020
Dr. Ann Angela Ribolini passed from this world early in the morning on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Born the 5th of 6 children to her parents Augusto and Elena Ribolini in 1948 in Yonkers, NY, Ann grew up with her two sisters, closest in age, in the Bronx. As a child, Ann excelled in school and upon graduating high school in Nyack, NY she was granted a full scholarship to Stony Brook University, where she first obtained her Bachelors of Science and then her Ph. D. in Biochemistry.
After Stony Brook, Ann moved to Boston to do her post-doctorate research in recombinant DNA at Harvard University. As a teacher she earned a reputation for being a strict and no-nonsense grader. Rescuing a rat from the science labs, she named her Lenore and took her home to be a loving pet. Every evening when Ann got home, Lenore would run out from under the fridge and scamper up to Ann’s shoulder to say hello. After Harvard, Ann took a research position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and then at BioGen where she researched fruit fly DNA.
In her 20s and 30s, Ann was an avid canoer and would often take days long trips involving portaging her canoe between lakes. She also was a fantastic bread-maker and would make and keep her own sourdough starters. In her early thirties, she married and had two children, Maralena and Lennon, who were the absolute joys of her life.
When Maralena was two, BioGen offered Ann a position in Switzerland, so the family moved to Geneva for several months and had many fantastic adventures in the Alps and throughout Europe. Returning to the states, Ann decided that being a full-time lab scientist infringed too much on her time as a mother, and so she left science and opened a home daycare, Copper Beech Montessori, in her house in Jamaica Plain. The school was named for the ancient Copper Beech tree that watched over the children as they played in the back yard. Over the years, the school grew both in reputation and size until Ann moved the school to it’s very own building and ran a successful, thriving business that gave hundreds of Boston families a nurturing environment for their children to grow and learn in for over 25 years.
Upon retiring, Ann wanted to leave the bustle and noise of the big city and bought a small cabin a quarter mile down the road from Yankee Lake in New York and around the corner from her sister. There she spent her days baking bread (again!), kayaking the lake, and enjoying peace and quiet surrounded by the forest. She especially enjoyed watching the birds as they visited her birdfeeders and the fish in her koi pond.
Ann was loving, kind, and generous to all who she met, and was especially proud of her children and granddaughter. She was an avid reader, especially of J.R.R Tolkien novels; she even had tattoos in Elvish! Her last travel abroad, with her children, to Italy, was one of the highlights of her life.
Both parents, as well as her siblings Egisto (Sonny), Augustine, and Elena, predeceased her. Ann is survived by her two children, Maralena and Lennon, her beloved granddaughter, Lyra Murphy, her sisters, Diana Tabone and Elizabeth Zambuto, and by many loving nieces and nephews.
Her radiant spirit will be remembered always.
Celebration of Life services will be held both in Boston and in NY. Please contact [email protected] for more information