Inez Godburn

Inez Godburn

NORTH CANAAN — Inez (Delaini) Godburn passed away peacefully on March 4, 2024, at Geer Nursing Home after a brief illness, with her family at her side. She was 101.

Inez was the widow of John E. (“Jack”) Godburn, Sr., who died in 2009.

Her family was her life. Inez had seven brothers and sisters, 10 children, 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Inez’s parents were born in Italy, her father Domenico in 1871 and her mother Genoveffa (Perotti) in 1884. They came to America through Ellis Island in the early 1900s, settling in Lime Rock.

The youngest in her family, Inez was born Dec. 2, 1922, in East Canaan. Her older brothers and sisters, Egilio (Gene), Lena, Louise, Italio, Enrico, Andrew and Mary, all predeceased her.

As a child, Inez attended the East Canaan school on Rte. 44 at Furnace Hill Road. She always remembered the unplowed winter roads of the 1920s and 1930s and how the children would hope for tire or wagon tracks in the snow to assist their long, cold walk to school. She also attended Canaan Center School.

In the 1940s, Inez worked at The Conley Inn in Torrington (later The Yankee Pedlar). She also worked in later years at Johnny’s and Charlie’s restaurants in Canaan, and at the Colonial Theater.

Renowned as a cook, Inez learned from her mother how to make many dishes from scratch. She recalled how her mother would behead, pluck, stuff, roast and baste a chicken every week for Sunday dinner.

Inez made wonderful lasagna, gnocchi, ravioli, stews, roasts, soups, salads, breads, Yorkshire Puddings and much else. Mealtimes were ample and memorable. Her spaghetti sauce was so popular it was marketed. Mangia bene!

When her children were growing up on West Main Street in North Canaan in the 1950s and 1960s, Inez and Jack were very involved in their school activities, and Jack was scoutmaster of Troop 22. The backyard pool was a beacon for neighborhood kids, and there were many picnics.

Later the family lived in East Canaan near Inez’s childhood home where they had fruit trees, grapes, greenhouses and a fledgling flower business, and later a florist shop in Canaan.

With the kids grown, Inez made a long-planned trip to Italy with her eldest child, Michele, where she visited Rome and Venice and met Delaini relatives. She was predeceased by Michele and her grandson Scott, both of Havelock, North Carolina.

Inez is survived by nine children: Joseph and his wife, Sandy, of Plainville; John, Jr., and his wife, Claudia, of Torrington; Mark of Norfolk; David and his wife, Jill, of North Canaan; Michael and his wife, Gale, of Torrington; Kevin of North Canaan; Deborah of Richlands, North Carolina; Donna and her husband, Joe, of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts; and Brian and his wife, Eileen, of Oakdale.

The funeral was held Saturday, March 9, at St. Joseph’s Church in North Canaan, where Inez was a lifelong communicant, and where she volunteered with fundraising and the church’s annual summer barbecue well into her 90s.

Burial followed in the Delaini family plot at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Salisbury. Newkirk-Palmer Funeral Home in North Canaan was in charge of arrangements.

A reception catered by Freund’s Farm was held at the Bitterman Center in North Canaan.

The family wishes to thank the nursing staff and aides on Harmony Lane (3rd floor) at Geer, the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Litchfield County, and St. Joseph’s Church. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to any of these groups in Inez’s name.

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