Dorothea (Behm) Bisceglia, 87 years young, passed away peacefully in her favorite place- on her back porch at home in Maine, surrounded by friends and family, flowers and birds.
Dorothea was born on June 2, 1934 in Troy, NY to Axel and Mary Behm. She grew up on Lord Avenue across from Duncan’s farm and spent her childhood riding her horses down hoosick street in addition to many other outdoor adventures.
She attended The Mary Warren School and Troy High School and went on to graduate with the very first nursing class from Albany Medical Center in 1958 where she worked as an OR nurse. She met Patrick Bisceglia working for the NYS Department of Health and they married in 1963 and built a home together in Brunswick. She became a ‘bonus’ mom to Leo and Vincent Bisceglia, Patrick’s two young sons, and they went on to grow their family with three more children, Kim, Bryan and Lisa. Dorothea continued her career in nursing, but as a private duty nurse only so she could be at home with her family.
She was a devout christian with a strong faith in God and the belief that kindness, acceptance and generosity should be extended to all humans and creatures, great and small. Her congregation at Trinity Episcopal Church in Watervliet became a second family to her for 25 years. She was a fierce advocate for the underserved and spent countless hours volunteering her time to help those in need. For most of her adult life, Dorothea played the piano for her church services and events but also loved to participate in any opportunity to play elsewhere. This led to her second career as a self taught music teacher at Our Lady of Victory School in Troy. She brightened the lives of many students of all ages, including her five grandchildren, with countless shows, pageants and productions.
She was a huge lover of the outdoors and gardening and was passionate about caring for the environment and all its wonders and creatures. She was an avid swimmer and lover of the ocean. She spent many summers camping in Maine with family in tow. It was her love of Maine that ultimately led to a successful kidnapping by her family from her nursing home during Covid lockdown to Portland Maine where she spent her final year by the sea among her Maine friends. She was an incredible cook, (Italian by association) and was a master at feeding the masses out of her small and simple kitchen with countless cookies and her infamous meatballs.
Dorothea is predeceased by her husband, Patrick Bisceglia, her two step sons Vincent Bisceglia (Karen) and Leo Bisceglia (Kathy) and her brother Robert Behm. She is survived by her three children, Kim Cowieson (Michael), Bryan Bisceglia (Michelle) and Lisa Bisceglia: her grandchildren Patrick Bisceglia (Colleen), Kristin Smith (Mark), Nick Bisceglia (Chrissy Zola), Meghan Bisceglia (Chad Corbett), Mandy Bisceglia, Sophia Bisceglia, Isabella Bisceglia, and Abbey Cowieson. She is also survived by her great grandchildren Molly and Madeline Bisceglia and Grady and Callen Smith.
The family will be forever grateful to Dorothea’s exceptional caregivers- Michelle Dutcher, Deb Grace, Lorraine Betit and Jolene Schatz, and everyone at Hospice of Southern Maine for their incredible support and care for Dorothea which allowed her to be at home with family in Maine for her final year.
A natural born giver, she donated her body to the University of New England Medical School in Maine. She loved nothing more than planning a big show, including her own Celebration of Life, which will be held on August 28th at Trinity Episcopal Church at 1336 First Ave in Watervliet at 11am. Calling hours will start one hour prior to service at 10 am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Trinity Memorial Outreach Fund.