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Richard J. Cuddihy

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HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- A Mass of Christian burial was offered for Richard J. Cuddihy from the Immaculate Conception Church on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006. Concelebrants for the Mass were the Revs. Michael DeMasi and Joseph Manerowski.

The pall was placed on the casket by his children, Janis Soscia, Virginia Lynn Cuddihy, Richard J. Cuddihy and Mark Cuddihy. The first reading was given by a niece, Jean O’Neil, and the second reading by a son-in-law, John Taylor. A niece, Kim Ciuk gave the prayer of the faithful. The Eucharistic gifts were brought to the altar by granddaughters Bridget and Sara Cuddihy.

His son-in-law, Michael Soscia, gave a eulogy. “Boy, this will make Rich’s day and put me right at the top of the you-know-what list. For those of you who don’t know me, I am one of Rich’s other sons. They say you don’t get second chances in life, but I can tell you from experience, that isn’t always true. At the ripe old age of 8, I lost my father. Although I never got to know him well, the sense of loss was deep and long lasting. Then about 28 years ago I met Jan’s father for the first time. I was welcomed with the usual, slightly intimidating greeting, ‘Who the hell are you?’And from that day on I was blessed once again with a father, someone I’ve been able to rely on for support and share all of my life experiences with. We truly developed a strong father-son relationship and I thank him for giving me back something I lost early in life.

”Being asked to speak today on behalf of his children, and share their thoughts about their father for me is the ultimate honor and privilege. I thank you for giving me the opportunity.”

”A Tribute to Dad”

Historians will never record his name, nor politicians speak of his accomplishments. Few will mourn his passing. Yet we his children know that we have lived our lives in the presence of a great man. What defines greatness? Is it the acquisition of wealth and power? Is it name recognition? Or is it the life of this quiet man who loved his family?

When we remember Dad we will recall: that as a young father he could do anything; that he protected us and kept us safe; that he was hardworking; that he had great stories about ‘Clay Hill’ against the world; that he loved Nana, Knobby and his sisters and brother; that he had a great sense of humor; that we meant everything to him; that he loved our mother.

As we gather today to honor our father we recall: his strength of character; his devotion to God; his quiet courage as he faced days of endless pain and discomfort; his dependability; his generosity; his integrity.

In celebration of a journey that has come to an end we will remember: his love for his grandchildren and how proud he was of each one; his willingness to help others; his good heart; his contentment with his life.

We will remember his presence in our lives as a blessing.

Perhaps his son Mark said it best, “When people tell me I’m just like Dad I take that as the ultimate compliment.”

The organist for the Mass was Elise Melesky, the soloist was Shari Hand.

Pallbearers were granddaughters Amy Cuddihy, Tricia Cuddihy, Eric Cuddihy, Erin Soscia, Elizabeth Soscia and grandson Benjamin Taylor.

Interment followed the Mass at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hoosick Falls where the Rev. DeMasi offered the committal prayers.

Mr. Cuddihy died on Jan. 4, 2006, at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. He was the husband of Virginia (Murphy) Cuddihy.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Mahar Funeral Home, 43 Main Street, Hoosick Falls.
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 12, 2006
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