Official Obituary of

Lillian Tucci

December 25, 1937 ~ June 14, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Lillian Tucci Obituary

Lillian Tucci (1937–2023)

Born on Christmas Day, Lillian Tucci was always confounded by why she was named after an Easter flower.  The child of working-class immigrant parents, Lillian was a first-generation American hero and success story, graced with an unyielding will, boundless courage, unwavering determination, and, of course, a profoundly wry sense of humor.  She will be missed by all blessed to know and love her.

On the very first day of classes as a freshman at Bishop McDonnell High School in Brooklyn, Lillian began a life-long friendship with Rosalie Spellman, destined to last more than 70 years.  While there, Lillian demonstrated superb command of the English language, diagramming sentences, grammar, spelling and left-handed penmanship.  After graduation, she attended secretarial school, began her professional life at IBM, entered into a New York mixed marriage (she was a Dodgers fan, while he rooted for the Giants), and started her family of three boys.

Lillian’s life was permanently altered when God called her husband James home to heaven when he was only 35 years old, leaving her a 34-year-old widow with boys aged 4, 9 and 11 years old to raise and educate and determined to do so while remaining in the family home. Her mother Magdalena moved in so she could be there when the boys got home from school.  This enabled Lillian to make the three-hour round trip on the LIRR and NYC subway to her job as Secretary to the President of The College Board, a position she held for 25 years until her retirement.  Charming and gracious to a fault in that role, she also possessed a steely-eyed determination that her sons grow into responsible men.  Toward that end, she enrolled all three in Chaminade High School in Mineola, where she enjoyed taking art classes for the parents, attending Midnight Mass every Christmas Eve, and remaining a loyal supporter of the alumni parents’ association for over 40 years.  As a true “single mom” before the term became fashionable, she employed two core principles in raising her sons: (1) education was the key to survival in this world, and (2) it didn’t matter what anyone else thought of what you were doing, as long as you knew you were doing the right thing.

Her communications style was unique but effective.  When her son Stephen wanted piano lessons, after considerable thought, she came home one day and told him that she had purchased a piano, and if he did not play it, she would break every finger in his body.  While that might be viewed harshly by some in today’s politically-correct world, in the 1970's we called that “incentive” or “motivation.”

Her love for all her children was true to its core.  When luck would have it that her sons Jeffrey and Richard were scheduled to graduate from college and high school, respectively, on the very same day and mere hours apart in cities several hundred miles apart, she pulled off the unthinkable and attended both ceremonies without fail, on time, and to the astonishment of all present.  

Her golden years proved no less challenging.  When Richard and her sister Violet faced significant medical challenges at a time Lillian rightfully anticipated a peaceful retirement in Ossining, she rose to the challenges as she always did and shepherded them both flawlessly, taking on roles few could have handled.  Simply put, she was without peer.

Lillian loved crocheting, making her own clothes and decorating her home in the colonial-country style.  She especially loved doing her own wallpapering – even her closets!  Musically her tastes leaned toward Andy Williams, Perry Como, and the Four Aces.

While Lillian had been slowing down for a time, ultimately it was complications stemming from a rare and incurable form of cancer which led to her being reunited in heaven with her one true love after more than 50 years apart.  No doubt she is sipping on a Johnnie Walker Red (and checking this tribute to ensure its grammar is impeccable) and he is enjoying his favorite Manhattan.

Lillian’s family wishes to thank the staffs at Seniors Helping Seniors, Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sky View Rehabilitation & Healthcare and The Club at Briarcliff Manor, along with everyone else who cared for her along the way and ensured she received the attention and respect she deserved and which she earned over a lifetime of service to others.

Lillian Tucci is survived by her sons Stephen (wife Lisa, children James and Danielle), Jeffrey (wife Kathy, children Jacqueline, Juliette and Jason) and Richard.  She was preceded in death by her husband James, her parents Louis and Magdalena, and her sister Violet.  Lillian’s family will be receiving guests at Waterbury and Kelly Funeral Home, 1300 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY, on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, between the hours of 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.  In keeping with Lillian’s generous and philanthropic spirit, her family invites memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.  Funeral services will be private.  Burial will be at the Long Island National Cemetery. 


1300 Pleasantville Road

Briarcliff Manor, New York 10510


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July 26, 2023

11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Waterbury & Kelly Funeral Home Briarcliff
1300 Pleasantville Rd
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510


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