Sophia Bickley

Published on Friday, 5 January 2018 18:17


Sophia “Sandy” (Sanzaro) Bickley, 94, devoted wife of Wallace A. Bickley, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018). Born in Italy in Sortino, Sicily, she came to America as a 1-year old and grew up in New Britain. She graduated from New Britain High School, class of 1940 where she was known as “Sanzy,” which then became her lifelong name of “Sandy.” After high school, she attended Morse Business College.

In 1955, she met a man on a blind date. After a three-month courtship, Wally and Sandy married and raised their family in Kensington, where they lived for over 60 years. They both recently moved to Arbor Rose in New Britain.

Sandy was an executive secretary for the Boy Scouts of America in Hartford for nearly 25 years. She later worked at the Hartford Insurance Group for 10 years, retiring in 1987. Sandy was a member of St. Paul’s Church, Kensington, and the St. Paul’s Ladies Guild. Her family was the center of her life. She was a devoted mother who had enormous patience and strength to raise four children whose ages spanned only a four-year period. She also loved spending time with each of her grandchildren making crafts, reading or just being silly with them. She was a lady in every sense and raised her family with those same values. She enjoyed sewing, cooking and baking. She loved trying new recipes at her many dinner parties, including the annual New Year’s Eve party.

Besides her husband Wally of 62 years, she leaves her four children, Alan Bickley of Manchester, Tracey Eck and her husband, Bill, of Wethersfield, Robin Burns and her husband, Tim, of West Hartford, and Barry Bickley, MD and his wife, Janice, of North Andover, Mass. She was dearly loved by her 11 grandchildren, AJ, Melissa (Garfield) and Nichole Bickley, Katie and Kyle Eck, Tom, Libby and Lexie Burns, and Brianna, Michael and Jaime Bickley, along with several nieces and nephews. Sandy was predeceased by a sister, Josephine Reiche and her parents, Sofia (Giardino) and Giuseppe Sanzaro.

The family would like to thank the staff at both Arbor Rose and Jerome Home for the superb loving care they provided to Sandy during her time there.

Calling hours are Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Carlson Funeral Home. Funeral services are Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Carlson Funeral Home, 45 Franklin Square, New Britain followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 479 Alling St., Kensington. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Britain. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in the name of Sophia Bickley may be made to “Arbor Rose at Jerome Home,” 975 Corbin Avenue, New Britain, CT 06052. Please share a memory or note of sympathy at

Posted in New Britain Herald, on Friday, 5 January 2018 18:17. Updated: Monday, 8 January 2018 09:56.