In Memoriam — Anita Besalel Cano

Anita Cano passed away peacefully on Monday, July 25, 2022 in Reston Hospital. She is survived by her sister Irene, her three children, and five grandchildren. She was 81 years old.

Colorized High School Portrait July 1982 Wedding 1986 2021 with Bandito 2022 Singing in the Rain

Anita Besalel Cano, born Anita Calef, was born on December 28, 1940, and raised in Brooklyn, New York by her mother Ethel and father Sam Calef. Her father passed away when Anita was 10 and her sister Irene was 7. Shortly after graduating high school, Anita married Ely Besalel. They had 3 children: Lisa, Sari, and Sami.

The young couple moved out to Levittown on Long Island shortly before Sami's birth. While Anita and Ely split in the 1970s, they remained life-long friends. Ely died in 2017.

Anita had three careers. A single mother, she was the first female service representative who worked at Motorola Communications.

Anita married John Cano in November 1986 and moved to Highland, NY a couple of years later. John had a career in construction. They bought and managed Lombardi Construction in Highland for three years, before stepping away from the business.

Anita and John divorced, and Anita remained in Poughkeepsie, working for Ulster County Prison in an alternative program that successfully counseled and rehabilitated people with drug problems. A year before Anita retired from this job, her mother Ethel moved to Peterborough, New Hampshire, near Lisa's home. When she retired a year later, Anita moved out to New Hampshire to join her mother and oldest daughter. Anita lived in New Hampshire for 12 years. She was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease around 2008.

After her mother’s death, Anita moved to Greer, South Carolina to be near her daughter Sari, where she lived for four years. In July 2018, Anita moved to Chantilly, Virginia to live with her son Sami and his family. Anita moved to the Arbor Terrace Memory Care center in Chantilly in October 2021, where her weekly visits by her dog Bandito and her love of ice cream kept her among the popular crowd. To the day, Anita died five years after she moved to Virginia.

Anita is survived by her younger sister Irene Herrera, who lives in New Mexico with her husband Vern. She is also survived by her three children and their families: oldest daughter Lisa Besalel and granddaughters Sabrina Quinn and Anya Shemet; daughter Sari Kitch with son-in-law David Kitch and grandson Davy; and son Sami Besalel, daughter-in-law Fran, and grandchildren Maksheyfe and Tova.

As Anita struggled with Alzheimer’s and was also a life-long dog-lover, two options for people interested in honoring her with a charitable gift are to donate to your local no-kill animal shelter, or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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