Hildegard Janssen Berchielli

August 28, 1921 ~ July 8, 2020 (age 98)


Hildegard Janssen Berchielli, 98, of Westerly, passed away peacefully in the early morning of July 8 at The Carriage House at The Elms. She was predeceased by her husband, Aldo S. Berchielli and her only son, Paul A. Berchielli.

Born in Munich, Germany on August 28, 1921, Hilde emigrated to the U.S. in 1935 after the Nazis came to power. In 1944, she became a U.S. citizen, married the love of her life and travelled with him to Oak Ridge, TN where he was selected to work on the Manhattan Project. After the war, they settled on Long Island where Hilde raised her two children and devoted her time to charity work. In 1972, the family relocated to Westerly and a new chapter began. Hilde learned to play bridge, became active in the Y Garden Club and launched a career at New England Security that lasted until she was well into her 80s.

A memorable character with a life well-lived, Hilde enjoyed her many friends, travelling the world with her husband, dining at her favorite restaurants and following the latest fashions. Always curious and a voracious reader, Talking Books became a lifeline as her eyesight failed. Until the end, she relished spirited conversations about the current political situation.

She will be sadly missed by her daughter, Janice B. Tunney of Westerly, her brothers and sisters-in-law Walter Janssen of Farmingdale, NY; Edwin (Ruth) Janssen of Westbury, NY; and Ronald (Mary) Janssen of Henderson, NV, as well as her many nieces and nephews.

Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the family will have a celebration of Hilde’s life at a later date. Calling hours and committal services will be held privately at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her name to the RI Foundation, c/o Paul A. Berchielli Memorial Fund, on-line at

Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St. Westerly, RI 02891 is assisting the family with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit


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