Cherished time with family and traveling with her husband

Published January 2, 2019

WAKEFIELD — Anna Bastian, 70, of Wakefield, former longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at the Broward Health Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on December 24, 2018, after suffering a stroke while on vacation in Jamaica.

Anna was born on May 28, 1948 in New York, New York to parents Rudi and Christine Hertwig. She is survived by her husband Richard C. Altonaga, daughter Jen Lansky Meegan and her husband Nickolas Meegan of Patchogue, N.Y., son Alex Altonaga and his wife Sharon Porcaro Altonaga of Melrose, son Nicholas Altonaga of Littleton, N.H., as well as her sister Helen Kenna and family of Brooklyn, N.Y., and grandson Cassius Meegan of Patchogue N.Y.

As a young woman Anna traveled the world extensively, living abroad in England and Spain, before returning to New York and attaining a job as a paralegal at the offices of Eastman & Echtman. She attended New York University and earned a bachelor’s degree with honors. It was at this time that she fell in love with and married Richard Altonaga. They were married on June 21, 1986 in Brooklyn N.Y. Shortly thereafter, the two purchased a home in Melrose to build a family together with the understanding that Anna would pursue her law degree while being a full time parent. In 1995, she graduated from Boston University School of Law and went on to open a law practice specializing in wills, trusts, and estate planning, most recently located on West Emerson Street Melrose. Anna was devoted to her clients and always strived to deliver the highest level of professional service with a compassionate touch.

Anna was an active member of the community and advocated for causes close to her heart. She was a board member of the Melrose League of Women Voters, member and former Treasurer of Melrose Alliance Against Violence, helped found the Melrose Family Room, and was also active in The Rotary Club of Melrose. Anna believed in the value of public education and worked to improve schools across the city, both in terms of curriculum and infrastructure. Through her involvement in the community Anna developed many dear and long lasting friendships.

Anna was a loving and devoted wife and mother. She cherished spending time with her family, traveling with her husband, and supporting her children through every stage of their lives. Anna loved spending time with friends, reading and utilizing the Melrose Public Library to its full potential, walking, going out to a delicious dinner, and enjoying a nice cocktail. She was known for her sharp wit, great sense of humor, and her ability to genuinely relate to people from all walks of life. She was warm and loving, always an advocate for encouraging people to be the best version of themselves, and consistently demonstrated that through her strong personality and character.

She will be missed dearly by all those she leaves behind and whose lives she touched. In accordance with her wishes, Anna was cremated. A celebration of her life will be held by her family at Memorial Hall in Melrose on Saturday January 12 from 1-4 p.m.