**IN LIGHT OF CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES, SERVICES FOR MRS. PAULINE TARANTINO WILL BE PRIVATE. IMMEDIATE FAMILY ONLY.**
Pauline "Paula" Vallone Tarantino
March 20, 1925 - March 16, 2021
Pauline "Paula" Vallone Tarantino left this earthly ground on March 16, 2021, four days before her ninety-sixth birthday.
She was born on March 20, 1925 to Joseph and Lucy Vallone in Pelham Bay, the Bronx, the youngest of three children. Her brother Rocco and her sister Josephine predeceased her.
On May 24, 1947, she married Mario Tarantino, the love of her life, with whom she shared another love: The song "You'll Never Know." Mario predeceased her on December 4, 1985.
Paula had a long career as the Principal's secretary in the Harrison High School. As the Main Office paraprofessional, she could often be seen with purple “mimeo fingers,” but she always took care of machinery-impaired faculty and staff with good will. Thousands of students, faculty, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and administrators can close their eyes and hear the PA click on, the sound of chimes, and her voice and morning announcements.
She was also the Harrison High School majorette advisor, and she taught hundreds of girls the importance of poise, good manners, and pointed toes. Their dance routines, inspired by Paula's time as a Rockette in New York City, became a legendary part of every football game half-time show and special occasion parade. Her "girls" are grateful to this day for her mentorship. She held them in a special place in her heart and treated them with love, humor, and generosity, qualities that defined her life.
After her retirement from HHS in 1986, she began her new career as a tap dance teacher with the Eastchester Senior Center and the Eastchester Woman's Club. Her dance crew, The Showstoppers, performed far and wide, and she taught many more "girls," plus one "boy" to dance. The dance troupe was especially noted for its performances at the Golden Harvest Dance and Talent Show each October at the Westchester County Center. At the 2019 show, George Latimer, the Westchester County Executive, presented Paula with a special award for her many years of service to The Showstoppers and Westchester County Seniors.
Paula was the organizer behind the Tarantino Family Picnics for over 50 years, and she loved all the Tarantino Clan. Her many nieces and nephews made sure they gathered with her every year to celebrate, and she so treasured them.
Paula was a faithful parishioner at St. Gregory the Great in Harrison, and she leaves behind many good friends and former colleagues, her St. Gregory's family, and all the HHS students she influenced over the years.
Her beloved children, Joseph, Mario, Lucia, and Paul survive her, as do Joseph's wife, Monica, and Mario's Partner, Bonnie. She also leaves behind her cherished grandsons, Paul Richard and Donavan Mario, to whom she was their precious Nonna.
The family thanks all the people who have reached out and have shown many kindnesses. The next time you see a dancer or hear the sound of tap shoes, think of Paula. Please honor her memory with a smile and embrace one another with love and tolerance. If you so choose, please make a donation to the animal rescue of your choice in Paula's name.
A private burial will be held. There will be no services at this time, and a Celebration of Paula's life will be held at a later date.