Those who knew her remember longtime Revere Public School educator Julie Kennedy Venditti as a generous, positive, smiling compassionate and brilliant 39-year-old woman who dedicated the last 15 years of her life to the students at the Garfield School as the school’s guidance counselor.
Sadly, Mrs. Venditti died on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at her home following a battle with cancer just six days after marrying Christopher Papett. She was 39 years old.
“Julie was one of those unique people who had a way of making everyone around her feel better. She would do anything for anyone and ask nothing in return,” said Revere School Superintendent Dianne Kelly. “Julie found the bright side of any situation and helped others to see it too. Colleagues and students saw Julie as a guiding light. She was a true friend to many teachers in the Revere Schools and shaped thousands of young lives.”
Mrs. Venditti was born in Newton to John and Judy Venditti on Nov. 20, 1979 and lived in Needham before moving to Dedham.
She graduated from the University of Delaware and completed her master’s degree at Boston College.
She worked as a guidance counselor for Garfield Middle School for 15 years and was remembered by current and former students as a kind and compassionate counselor willing to help without judgement.
“Sometimes I would sit and talk to her when I was feeling upset,” said former student Aryanna Paradis. “I am so very grateful for any of the times she would help me with classes, grades, and or personal stuff. You’ll be missed by not only, your Garfield School kids but by anyone and everyone who was so lucky to know you.”
Former student Kayle Martinez said Mrs. Venditti was loved by many and will always be loved.
“I remember one day my grades were horrible and she took the time to help me with them,” said Martinez. “I’m truly grateful for her.”
Jessica Maffeo said when she first met Mrs. Venditti at the Garfield School she knew she was someone special.
“She was always smiling and she had such a warm sole,” she said. “I will always remember Julie and her kindhearted ways. She will be missed greatly but will always be in our hearts.
“Sometimes life is unfair and my heart goes out to her husband, family and friends.”
A mother of one of Mrs. Venditti’s colleagues, Kathleen Horton Branzell, said everyone’s hearts are broken.
“Julie left us to young,” said Branzell. “She was a beautiful woman inside and out . Her work with the children at the Garfield School for the past 15 years was commendable . My daughter Kimberly met Julie while doing an internship at Garfield School and they became friends. That friendship meant so much to my daughter and my daughter’s husband.”
However, Ms. Venditti was not a typical guidance counselor but a role model, mentor, friend and, in some cases, a lifeline for her student.
“Mrs. Venditti was not only my guidance counselor in middle school, she was a friend,” said one former student who only wanted to go by the initials, J.R. “At a time when I didn’t have a good relationship with my mother, she held that space for me. She was such a strong light, she did everything through her heart, and cared so much for the kids she worked with. She was the first person I ever told about my suicide attempts and depression and because of her, I was able to find a way out of that. She was selfless, down to earth, and one of the most genuine people I have ever encountered in all my years of schooling. She was an angel on Earth, and now will continue to be an angel for eternity.”
Mrs. Venditti’s legacy as a beloved educator through a memorial scholarship her family has established for students here.
In her honor the Julie Venditti Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating high school senior that attended Garfield School. Donations may be made to Revere High School 101 School St., Revere, MA 02151; Attention Rose Gordinas. Please write Venditti Memorial Scholarship on the memo line.
“Her legacy will be found in the successes of those kids she helped to navigate through middle school and beyond,” said Superintendent Kelly. “Our hearts and prayers are with her family.”
Throughout her life Mrs. Venditti enjoyed traveling to Hilton Head and her weekend getaways to New Hampshire. She recently became a mother to a beautiful black Labrador, Buddy, who remained by her side and provided her comfort throughout the past year of her illness.
Mrs. Venditti is survived by her husband, Christopher Papetti; her parents, John and Judy Venditti; her sister, Michelle Brockway, and her husband, Shaun Brockway; her brother, Nicholas Venditti; and her niece and nephew, Landon and Olivia Brockway. She is also survived by her father-in-law, Robert, her sister-in-law; Cheryl, her brother-in-law; Kenneth, and his wife, Judith, and their children, Abigail and Cameron.
The family of Mrs. Venditti wishes to extend its sincere thanks to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Dr. Susana M. Campos, MD, MPH and Lisa Arvine, NP.