She has also been recognized as a champion for children, devoting 13 years to the Sanborn Regional School Committee, all while having no children of her own in the system.
But perhaps her biggest contribution has been as the creator and publisher of a weekly newspaper that has been a constant in the lives of residents of Kingston and as many as 17 surrounding communities for more than 30 years.
Next week, Alessio will pass on control of the Carriage Towne News — the newspaper she literally started from the ground up in 1983 — and will enter the next chapter in her life.
Knowing she is leaving Carriage Towne in the more than capable hands of her longtime, trusted staff, who will continue ushering it forward under the guidance of North of Boston Media Group and its parent company, Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., has eased her decision.
“I never thought of it as a job,” Alessio said. “This has been my baby.”
Alessio developed her solid work ethic as a child. Her parents owned a grocery store, where her father would work 14-hour days to support his four children.
He was also a classically minded man, who amassed a personal library that grew to contain upwards of 5,000 books. He believed in the importance of education, especially for women, and was adamant that his three daughters, in addition to his son, attend college, said Alessio’s sister, Corinne Lester, who moved to Kingston about a decade ago.
“He wanted us to not only be talented as women, but intelligent, giving us the double power to be effective in the world, “ Lester said.
Alessio was drawn to public relations, earning her degree in the field from BU. But her focus upon arriving in Kingston was working with her husband to realize the success of their IGA Foodliner store, located in Kingston Plaza in the town square.