In memory of
Maureen C. Fusillo
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In memory of
Maureen C. Fusillo
Maureen C. Fusillo Special education teacher , honored advocate for the disabled Maureen C. Fusillo, formerly of Great Kills and most recently a resident of Boca Raton, Fla., passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours on Oct. 29, 2019. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 26 years, Raymond Fusillo. She is survived by her devoted husband of 13 years, Raymond Holewienko; daughters, Jillian Fusillo and Lauren Fusillo Levy; son-in-law, David Levy and two beloved grandsons, Rowan and Theodore. Maureen was born on Sept. 30, 1945, to Matthew and Catherine Kennedy (nee Feeney). She lived with her parents, older brother, Matthew, and younger sister, Catherine in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1968, she married Raymond Fusillo, also of Brooklyn. In 1978, Maureen, Ray and their daughters moved to Staten Island. Once her daughters reached school age, she decided to return to work, beginning a lengthy career working with students with developmental disabilities, first as a paraprofessional and later as a special education teacher in several public schools. She earned both her bachelor's and master's degree in education from the College of Staten Island while working full time and raising her family. For her master's thesis, Maureen Fusillo wrote a comprehensive history of the Willowbrook State School, conducting extensive first-person interviews with the staff and residents of the institution. Her thesis provided significant source material for the book "History and Sociology of the Willowbrook State School," published in 2013. While a student, she was named a Kennedy Fellow by Reaching Up, a nonprofit organization dedicated to those who worked with disabled individuals, in recognition of her outstanding academic achievements. John F. Kennedy Jr. presented her with the award, a proud moment in her professional development. Above all, Maureen was a dedicated special educator and advocate for individuals with disabilities. Strength and determination were prevailing themes in Maureen's life. She faced many obstacles, including the sudden loss of her first husband in 1994, but she never stopped fighting to achieve her goals, setting a stellar example for her family. Despite the limitations caused by health challenges, nevertheless Maureen persisted. She and her husband, Ray traveled extensively in retirement, enjoying cruises to the Caribbean, Europe and South America. A particular highlight was their trip to Israel. She would often marvel that she had been able to visit so many countries, something she would never have thought possible as a child in Brooklyn. She was a lover of musical theater and the Rolling Stones, rarely passing up an opportunity to see them on their various tours over the years. Family was the most important thing to Maureen - she loved to spend time with her grandsons, whether traveling to Disneyworld, enjoying powdered donuts or relaxing at home watching a movie. She believed strongly in justice and advocacy for the most vulnerable members of society and was not shy about sharing her thoughts on the failure of political leadership to provide such individuals with support. Even as her mobility became more limited, she continued to voice her political views through online platforms, in the process finding a community of like-minded people that helped lift her spirits as her health declined. A viewing will be held at Scalia Funeral Home on Friday, Nov. 1 from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. at Holy Child Church, 4747 Amboy Rd., S.I., N.Y. 10312. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in Maureen's memory to either the American Lung Association or the Special Olympics. John Vincent Scalia Home for Funerals, Inc. 28 Eltingville Blvd. Staten Island, NY 10312 (718) 356-6363
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John Vincent Scalia Home for Funerals, Inc.
28 Eltingville Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10312
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In memory of
Maureen C. Fusillo
Maureen C. Fusillo Special education teacher , honored advocate for the disabled Maureen C. Fusillo, formerly of Great Kills and most recently a resident of Boca Raton, Fla., passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours on Oct. 29, 2019. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 26 years, Raymond Fusillo. She is survived by her devoted husband of 13 years, Raymond Holewienko; daughters, Jillian Fusillo and Lauren Fusillo Levy; son-in-law, David Levy and two beloved grandsons, Rowan and Theodore. Maureen was born on Sept. 30, 1945, to Matthew and Catherine Kennedy (nee Feeney). She lived with her parents, older brother, Matthew, and younger sister, Catherine in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1968, she married Raymond Fusillo, also of Brooklyn. In 1978, Maureen, Ray and their daughters moved to Staten Island. Once her daughters reached school age, she decided to return to work, beginning a lengthy career working with students with developmental disabilities, first as a paraprofessional and later as a special education teacher in several public schools. She earned both her bachelor's and master's degree in education from the College of Staten Island while working full time and raising her family. For her master's thesis, Maureen Fusillo wrote a comprehensive history of the Willowbrook State School, conducting extensive first-person interviews with the staff and residents of the institution. Her thesis provided significant source material for the book "History and Sociology of the Willowbrook State School," published in 2013. While a student, she was named a Kennedy Fellow by Reaching Up, a nonprofit organization dedicated to those who worked with disabled individuals, in recognition of her outstanding academic achievements. John F. Kennedy Jr. presented her with the award, a proud moment in her professional development. Above all, Maureen was a dedicated special educator and advocate for individuals with disabilities. Strength and determination were prevailing themes in Maureen's life. She faced many obstacles, including the sudden loss of her first husband in 1994, but she never stopped fighting to achieve her goals, setting a stellar example for her family. Despite the limitations caused by health challenges, nevertheless Maureen persisted. She and her husband, Ray traveled extensively in retirement, enjoying cruises to the Caribbean, Europe and South America. A particular highlight was their trip to Israel. She would often marvel that she had been able to visit so many countries, something she would never have thought possible as a child in Brooklyn. She was a lover of musical theater and the Rolling Stones, rarely passing up an opportunity to see them on their various tours over the years. Family was the most important thing to Maureen - she loved to spend time with her grandsons, whether traveling to Disneyworld, enjoying powdered donuts or relaxing at home watching a movie. She believed strongly in justice and advocacy for the most vulnerable members of society and was not shy about sharing her thoughts on the failure of political leadership to provide such individuals with support. Even as her mobility became more limited, she continued to voice her political views through online platforms, in the process finding a community of like-minded people that helped lift her spirits as her health declined. A viewing will be held at Scalia Funeral Home on Friday, Nov. 1 from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. at Holy Child Church, 4747 Amboy Rd., S.I., N.Y. 10312. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in Maureen's memory to either the American Lung Association or the Special Olympics. John Vincent Scalia Home for Funerals, Inc. 28 Eltingville Blvd. Staten Island, NY 10312 (718) 356-6363
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
John Vincent Scalia Home for Funerals, Inc.
28 Eltingville Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10312
Past Services ╲╱
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