Obituary of Jacklyn S. Vittimberga, Ph.D.
Jacklyn Someroski Vittimberga, Ph.D., passed away peacefully in Trumbull, Connecticut on Friday, July 23, 2021, at the age of 87. Jacklyn was born in Dillonvale, Ohio on May 14, 1934, to the late William and Rena (Daldin) Someroski. She is survived by her children, Gail Vittimberga Gay of Easton, Connecticut, Anthony Vittimberga of California and Dr. Gwenn Vittimberga of Rhode Island. Jackie also leaves six grandchildren: Madeleine, Christian, Marina, Cara, Lan, and Mei. Jackie was predeceased by her husband of 53 years, Dr. Bruno Vittimberga and her daughter, Dr. Glenda Vittimberga. A humble trailblazer who rarely spoke of her accomplishments, Jackie's high standard of personal and professional excellence made her a role model for those around her, particularly women. Graduating Valedictorian from Mt. Pleasant High School (Ohio) in 1952 set the tone for a lifetime of high achievement, both academically and professionally. Jackie went on to Kent State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1956 with a B.S. in biochemistry. The following year, she earned a Master of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Jackie began working on a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 1957 and married fellow organic chemist Dr. Bruno Vittimberga in 1958. She completed her Ph.D. in 1961 with two small children in tow. Raising four children took up much of Jackie's time over the next many years, but she stayed connected to chemistry and teaching through various roles, including as a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant at the University of Rhode Island and as a teacher at Prout Memorial High School in Rhode Island, Community College of Rhode Island, and URI's Providence campus. In 1981, Jacklyn accepted a teaching appointment at URI, where she also served as coordinator of freshman chemistry. Dr. Vittimberga was passionate about teaching, and she set a high bar for critical thinking and problem solving – a standard that applied to both her students and her own children. As coordinator of freshman chemistry at URI, she designed and implemented an innovative program that successfully met the needs of students who would otherwise experience difficulty with college chemistry. In 1991, Dr. Vittimberga was named the Woman of the Year by the University of Rhode Island chapter of the Association of Professional and Academic Women, recognizing her contributions to URI's chemistry program. Jacklyn was an intrepid and enthusiastic world traveler, first traveling to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth II in 1956, after college. Visiting hours will be held on Monday, August 2, 2021, 4 – 6 p.m. at Avery-Storti Funeral Home, 88 Columbia St., Wakefield, Rhode Island. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at Christ the King Church, 180 Old North Road, Kingston, Rhode Island. In lieu of flowers, the family will gratefully accept memorial gifts sent to the University of Rhode Island, Vittimberga Family Endowed Fund for Chemistry. Checks should be made to the URI Foundation, P.O. Box 1700, Kingston, RI 02881, with a note in the memo line.