After a nearly 20-year battle with heart disease, Laura D. DePalo of Provincetown died on June 21, 2022 at the McCarthy Care Center in Sandwich. The cause of death, confirmed by her son, Morgan, was congestive heart failure. She was 71.
The daughter of the late Dominic and Rita (Burnell) DePalo, Laura was born in Norwich, Conn. on May 15, 1951. She attended Norwich Free Academy and, because she was a lover of fashion, after graduation in 1969 she decamped to New York City, where Morgan recalls her saying she worked as a runway model.
By the late 1970s, Laura had left the city to join her sister in Provincetown. She worked as an accountant until her life dramatically changed with the birth of her son in 1985. Her new job, as Morgan put it, “was to be the best mom on the planet.” Being a mother, he said, was “where she put all her energy.”
She found ways to combine her work life with motherhood. When Morgan was a student at the Veterans Memorial Elementary School, Laura worked as a classroom volunteer. That experience laid the groundwork for subsequent paid work as a teacher’s aide and the school’s librarian in the late 1990s.
Morgan remembers summers in his early childhood when Laura’s parents would come to visit, but he recalls most powerfully the time Laura spent with him, wading through tide pools and collecting odd and interesting beach artifacts.
“Once,” he said, “we found a fully preserved seahorse washed up on the shore.” The experience of discovery and the excitement of the moment are things, he added, that “I remember vividly.”
In 2003, Laura had a heart attack, and in the following years, her son said, “she squeezed as much out of life as she could. It’s incredible,” he added, “that she lived as long as she did.”
He called her “the warmest human being you could imagine.”
Laura is survived by her son, Morgan DePalo, and her sister Susan DePalo and husband David Schachter, all of Provincetown.
A memorial service will be held at a time to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lower Cape Ambulance Association, 25 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown 02657.
To share a memory or leave an online condolence, visit gatelyfuneralservice.com.