Cover photo for Irene "Rene" (Simarano) Bastardo's Obituary
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1946 Irene "Rene" 2023

Irene "Rene" (Simarano) Bastardo

September 28, 1946 — January 26, 2023

Irene “Rene’ (Simarano) Bastardo, 76, a lifelong Worcester resident passed away at home Thursday, January 26, 2023, surrounded by the ones she loved.

Irene was born in Worcester, the daughter of Maurice and Mary (Cosenza) Simarano. Raised in Worcester, Rene graduated from Commerce High School, earned her associates degree from Worcester Junior College and furthered her education at New England School of Banking. She then worked for the Baystate Savings Bank and the former WCIS before beginning a career with the City of Worcester, first in administration for the Police Department before becoming a part of the Worcester Fire Department Headquarters where she worked for over 20 years before retiring in 2015. Rene also volunteered parttime for the Worcester Art Museum, where she most enjoyed working with elementary school children explaining the exhibits.

Irene’s husband and “Love of her Life” Francis “Billy” Bastardo for over 41 years passed away in 2010. She is survived by her two devoted sons, Robert W. Bastardo and his wife Tina, and Brian D. Bastardo with whom she lived all of Worcester; her beloved siblings, her best friend and sister, Angela Penny and her husband Francis, Frances Natale and her husband Steven of Pleasanton, California, John Simarano and his wife Donna of Worcester three grandchildren she adored Vanessa Polinski and her husband Anthony, Ryan and Jake. Along with three bonus grandsons Derek, Shawn and his wife Elisa and Matthew; a bonus great granddaughter Elizabeth. Her sister-in-law Sandra Pazooki and her husband Sonny. Several nieces and nephews including Julie, Katie, Gina, Cara and Dara (Gino), she also left many cousins and aunts whom she adored, She is predeceased by her Brother-in-law Bernard Bastardo and wife Joan and Sister-in-law Donna Ruggieri and her husband George. Her longtime companion Retired Worcester Police Lieutenant Paul Lukas passed away in 2021.  She also leaves many longtime friends “the girls” Sandy, Cookie, Carol, Angela, Michele, Rosie, Cheryl, June, Joyce and Liz who predeceased her in 2022.

Rene was a member of St Stephen’s Church. She loved dancing, cooking, walking, hosting Christmas celebrations, gardening, and tending to her impeccable manicured yard. She loved to travel, her favorites being Alaska, Florida and the Cape. Rene was an impeccably dressed, classy women who took great pride in her appearance each time she went outside her house. She was the matriarch of her family and remained so till her passing.

Friends and relatives are invited to a period of calling hours Tuesday, January 31st from 4 pm to 7 pm in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St. Her funeral will be held Wednesday, February 1st from the funeral home with a procession to St. Stephen’s Church, 357 Grafton St. where her celebration of Christian burial Mass will be held at 10:00 am. Burial will follow in St. John Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial remembrances in her name can be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Irene "Rene" (Simarano) Bastardo, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel

370 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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