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Valentina Raci
June 10, 2024


Beloved mother, wife, daughter, grandmother, great-grandmother, sibling, cousin and friend, Valentina Raci, at 87 years old, passed away peacefully in her home on Monday June 10th, surrounded by her loving family.
Valentina leaves behind many who loved her dearly: her husband Vangjel Raci of 65 years; son, Kosta Raci, and his wife, Monika; their three children, Evangelo, Anthony, and Kristia; daughter, Kozeta Kotnani and her husband, Jani, and their two children: Grigor Kotnani, and his wife Elisabeta; Elena Naqe, and her husband Klevis; three great-grandchildren: Natalia Naqe, Mikaela Naqe, and John Kotnani; brother, Petrika Stefani, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends whom she loved dearly. She was predeceased by her parents, Andrea Stefani and Ollga Stefani (neé Vishnja); her brother, Sotir Stefani; her two sisters, Lirika Thimo and Jorgjia Vasili; and her nephew, Sotiraq Thimo.
A cherished soul who journeyed from Albania to the United States in 1995 in search of better opportunities for her family, left a profound mark on the hearts of those who knew her. Born in Dardhë, of Korçë, Albania, she embraced her new home with warmth and grace, enriching the lives of many along the way. Valentina joined Dimitria Delights upon moving to Worcester and continued to work tirelessly until she retired. After retiring, Valentina devoted her time to raising her three young grandchildren at the time, Evangelo, Anthony and Kristia. She was there for them every step of the way, from helping them take their first steps, to making sure they grew up learning and speaking Albanian and carrying on the family traditions and values. “Nëna”, as her grandchildren called her, somehow always had the magic touch to make every tear and pain go away. She also loved watching her three great-grandchildren grow up as much as they loved visiting their great-grandmother.
Her place of birth, Dardhë, held a special place in Valentina’s heart. It was a place of cherished memories and fond reminiscences, where she found joy in reconnecting with her roots and embracing the rich tapestry of her heritage. Valentina, along with her husband, especially loved to visit Dardhë every year, where she would reconnect with old friends and family. Dardhë is where Valentina grew up amongst her large family; it is also where she met and married her husband and life partner, Vangjel Raci. Valentina graduated from the Technical Institute of Tirana with a degree in Economics, and later settled in Korçë, Albania where she worked at NPV as a payroll specialist and raised her family.
Nature was her sanctuary, and she found a great sense of joy in the outdoors. Whether it was a leisurely stroll with her puppies, which she loved dearly, or an adventurous hike in her beloved hometown Dardhë, Valentina cherished every moment spent immersed in the beauty of the world around her. Her love for animals was boundless.
Valentina’s passions were as diverse as they were vibrant. She had a peculiar love for gardening and taking care of her flowers. She loved to cook delicious meals for her family, especially “lakror me saç”. Similarly, her needle craft creations were a testament to her creativity and meticulous attention to detail. She will always be remembered for her compassionate and selfless traits and her rare ability to put others before herself. Her kindness knew no bounds, and her love touched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing her.
She found solace and community in her faith as a member of St. Mary’s Assumption Albanian Orthodox Church. Her devotion was not only a testament to her spiritual strength but also an embodiment of her unwavering love for her heritage. Though Valentina may no longer walk among us, her spirit lives on in the countless lives she touched and the memories she leaves behind. May her legacy of love and compassion continue to inspire us all.
The family extends their heartfelt thanks to Vjollca who was a dedicated caretaker for Valentina for many years and the staff at the VNA, with special appreciation to Miriam for her compassion and care.
Her visitation is Thursday, June 13th from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. in O’CONNOR BROTHERS FUNERAL HOME, 592 Park Avenue with a Trisagion Service at 5:30 p.m. Her funeral service will be held on Friday, June 14th with a service beginning at 11:00 a.m. in St. Mary’s Assumption Albanian Orthodox Church, 535 Salisbury Street. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the service. (Please go directly to church). Burial will follow in Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Assumption Albanian Orthodox Church, 535 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609. To order flowers please contact Perro’s Flowers, 284 Grafton Street, Worcester 508-755-7744.

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O'Connor Brothers Funeral Home
592 Park Avenue
Worcester, MA 01603