'Nuts at Christmas'
Christmas was Thelma Cuccinello's favorite holiday, a time when she could deck her house in Wilmot, N.H., with all the ornaments and decorations she had made over the years. And not just her house. Her eldest daughter, Cheryl O'Brien, who lives in Bedford, Mass., recently opened a box of Christmas wreaths, only to realize that every one had been made by her mother. "She made the skirt for our Christmas tree, the decoration for our mantlepiece," Mrs. O'Brien said. "She and Dad would go nuts at Christmas."
When her three daughters were growing up in Lexington, Mass., Mrs. Cuccinello made their clothes and their costumes, as well as the costumes of their friends. Later, Mrs. Cuccinello, 71, made quilts for each one of her 10 grandchildren. To her daughters now scattered around the country, she sent weekly packets of motherly advice: articles about teenage acne and the dangers of Internet access to Mrs. O'Brien, a mother of two boys, and about homemade anti-cockroach poison and bug sprays to her daughter in Florida.
Mrs. Cuccinello, who moved with her husband, Albert, to western New Hampshire, was in many ways a storybook grandmother — cozy and game. She traveled when she could — to Europe, Hawaii and California, where she was headed on Sept. 11 aboard American Airlines 11, to visit her sister and brother-in-law.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 8, 2001.
Thelma Cuccinello, 71, was an active grandmother of 10 who took up golf last year. She was headed to San Luis Obispo for a low-key visit with her sister and brother-in-law, hoping to spend some time on the links.
Cuccinello's trip was booked by her eldest daughter, Cheryl O'Brien, a Bedford, Mass., travel agent. Her discount vouchers expired at the end of the month.
Cheryl O'Brien drove her mother to the bus stop, kissed her, told her to have a good trip and said goodbye. "I told her I loved her," O'Brien said. "She said the same."
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Remembering Thelma on the 20th anniversary of 9/11...
September 5, 2021
September 4, 2019
In dignified memory of Thelma...
July 7, 2019
My mom, Emilie, worked with Thelma in the mid 1950s. I have a photograph on my bookshelf of my Mom, another friend, and Thelma at a wedding- all three were laughing and my silly mom was smoking my dads cigar. All 3 looked happy, beautiful, and joyful. My mom recalled how Thelma made baby blankets for my brothers and I, even though she and Thelma hadnt worked with each other for years. She remembered her as a good friend, and a very kind person. My mom, who passed in 2013, was heartbroken to hear of Thelmas death, and struggled with it for quite a while. I leave the photograph on my shelf to honor the youth of a past generation and in respect of a friend my mother loved.
April 28, 2019
Read Thelma's lovely profile just now. She was clearly most loved and giving. Her love of Christmas mirrors that of my own dear niece, Andrea Haberman, also killed on 9/11. Andrea -- and her entire immediate family -- always loved the holidays, and decorating for Christmas was a huge part of that. I'd like to think Thelma and Andrea might have bumped into one another by now, and are trimming one heck of a heavenly tree.
This time of year is especially tough on so many families; know that you're not alone.
Sincerely, Shelley H. Casey
shelley haberman casey
November 26, 2016
I didn't know Thelma but I was at the new 9/11 memorial pools this past week. I am from Maine and it was my first trip to NYC! While at the pools I decided to take a picture of a random name that circles the pools so that I may find out more about that individual. Thelma's name was the name that centered my picture. I looked her up and found this page. She seems like a wonderful woman. I pray that her family has found peace. I will always remember my trip to NYC and the somber experience I had at the 9/11 memorial.
October 17, 2016
September 11, 2016
Itwas a privillage to ride 9-11-2014 in your memory. May YOU NEVER BE Forgotten RIP John Miller US Army Vet
September 12, 2014
September 11, 2014
To the family of Thelma, As I sit here watching the President speak at the 911 Museum opening, I can't help but think of your mom. Growing up across the street from you on Ward Street, I remember playing at your house and your mom always had fresh baked cookies. May God bless you all.
May 15, 2014
September 12, 2013
We remember you today. Merry Christmas in heaven.
September 11, 2013
Sending out love to Thelma's family and friends. I will think of her as I listen to Christmas music (as I do year-round). We will never forget those lost that day. Love from Texas.
August 29, 2012
To The Cuccinello Family, Although I got to know the depth of the love Albert and Thelma shared for each other and for their family through the saddest of all circumstances, I want to share with you that I visited the September 11 Memorial in NYC recently and as I approached your mother's name there was a sunshower that came out of nowhere and lasted a good five minutes. To me, this was a sign from her and the light, through the rain, reminded me of the the light she spread during her life. I truly felt her presence in spirit at that moment. Warm Regards, Maura Sheehan
February 28, 2012
Miss you and your husband lots. People see an empty house but I see memories.
September 12, 2011
I am happy you and Albert are together now in Heaven
September 11, 2011
September 8, 2011
Dear Thelma;After 9/11 me and my family donated money to a 9/11 fund and we recived your name on a small piece of paper that hangs in our kitchen; the most lively place in the house and we look at it every day, Thelma I just want you to know you are always in our thoughts and not forgotten.. love the Rabozzi family
william chris joseph emma lily rabozzi
September 3, 2011
To the family and friends of Thelma Cuccinello: Thelma will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not allow those we lost on 9/11 be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you.
August 24, 2011
Thinking of your daughters today, Thelma. My mom Mary still tears up when she speaks of you-she misses your laughter and friendship so much. And you will always be remembered.
May 2, 2011
This year I am moved and able to pay tribute...We lived just down the street from Thelma and "Cooch"...When our daughter was born, Thelma was the first non-family member to babysit while we went to an appt...Special, kind and beyond caring...Her legacy to her family.
September 12, 2010
Don't think that we have forgotten, dear lady. We will never forget, and on the 9th Anniversary of that hellish day, we will say more prayers for your family, because I am sure they still miss you very much.
September 8, 2010
You don't know me and I don't know you, but I truely feel a connection as I proudly wear the name of Thelma Cuccinello on a silver bracelet that I purchased as a tribute.
September 11, 2009
Our hearts go out to you at this time and in the days ahead.
March 23, 2009
your in my prays
November 23, 2008
I was looking at tributes on youtube of all you beautiful people that lost your lives here on earth but gained a new wonderful one in heaven. Your name and smile caught my eye, god bless you and your family.
I never got to meet you but i bet you are the nicest lady to ever walk this earth. To all her family and friends may god bless you all.
September 20, 2008
From Italy: God bless you.
September 11, 2008
June 4, 2007
Thelma, you were on your way to visit your sister, Grace, who loved you so much and never was quite the same after your death. Grace passed away today, 12-24-06, at 11:45am PST. You are both with the Lord today, in Heaven. May God Bless you and your family and your generation.
December 24, 2006
To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say... but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay. I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above. Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight. Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night. That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through, God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."
It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone. As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on. I need you here badly; you're part of my plan. There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man."
God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do. And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you. And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight. God and I are closest to you....in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears. But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain. Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.
I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned. But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand. But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er. I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb; but together we can do it by taking one day at a time. It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too... that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain, then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain." And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile, knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low, just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go. When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind; I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.
And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free, remember you're not going.....you're coming here to me.
As I cross-stitched your name on the memorial that I am doing for all of the victims, I prayed for you and your family. Please know that your death was not in vain. We will always remember. God Bless.
October 31, 2006
Cheryl, I'm thinking of you today as I have so many times over the last five years. I hope it helps you to know that an old classmate is thinking of you. Robin Nazarian
September 11, 2006
My heart goes out to you at this time and in the days ahead.
September 11, 2006
We have a quilt that Thelma made for my daughter Kerri when she was born on May 8, 1995. It was hanging on her bedroom wall that terrible day. She was a friend of my mother-in-law's and attended our wedding. A genuine sweetie-pie of a lady.
December 7, 2005
It does heart pain what has happened on 11 September 2001.
Our sympathy is prayed and with you.
Freddy De Schutter
December 12, 2004
God Bless You Thelma.
September 7, 2004
My thoughts and prayers are with all of Thelma's family today and every day. What a wonderful lady! Having lived next door to her sister and brother-in-law (Grace and Larry) in California, I feel very honored to have met her and having spent many hours visiting with her and Grace. I have several special crafty items that Thelma made and gave to me, which I will always treasure. I thank God for having known this very special lady.
September 11, 2003
Thinking of you on this day, I hope you and your family are well.
September 11, 2003
I want to quote a poem!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At the one year anniversary ceremony of 9/11 at ground zero in new york, Brittany clark, 11, read a tribute to her father, Benjamin Keefe Clark, who was last seen hepling a woman in a wheelchair on the 88th floor og one of the towers
"This peom,"she said of the American Indian prayer, "makes me like my daddy is speaking tp me:
"I give you this one thought to keep,
"I am with you still, I do not sleep.
"I am a thousand winds that blow.
"I am the diamond glint on the snow.
"I am as sunlight on ripened grain.
"I am the gentle autumn rain when you awaken in morning hush.
"I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled fight.
"I am the soft stars that shine at night.
"Do not think of me as gone.
"I am with you still in each new danw!"
GOD BLESS USA
ANGLES ARE AROUND US
September 13, 2002
As a resident of the town Next to Wilmot, which shares the same school district, I feel that I have lost a neighbor. I can't help but think of all the times I have driven by your house over the year's never knowing who you were, as I went to visit friends in Springfield. On behalf of everyone in the Kearsarge/Sunapee Area I send my prayers.
September 11, 2002
Cheryl, Laurie and Maria,
My thoughts are with you, your families and your Mom. I keep warm thoughts of "Mrs. Cuccinello" with me always. My childhood memories will always be with me, these memories include your Mom who will alway's be my next door neighbor!
Maribeth and Scott
Maribeth (Meaney) Darrow
September 11, 2002
Our church will conduct a memorial service on Sunday, Sept. 8. One part of the service will be the reading of names of victims of the 9/11 tragedy. Thelma's name was drawn at random as one of those who died on A.A.Flight #11. Our prayers are with her family and all families who lost loved ones on that fateful day. May God bless you and keep you.
September 5, 2002
To the Cuccinello Family,
My Thoughts and prayers are with you as the Anniversary of September 11 comes near. I think you often.
Mrs. Cuccinello was such a great friend of my Mom's and I know they are doing their crafts together again upstairs!
Leanne Boyd (Scopa)
Leanne Boyd (Scopa)
September 3, 2002
What a beautiful person this lady was. May she rest in peace. Deepest sympathy to the family and friends who loved her so much.
July 21, 2002
MAY THE BEAUTIFUL SOUL OF THELMA CUCCINELLO AND THE SOULS OF ALL THE FAITHFULLY DEPARTED THROUGH THE MERCY OF GOD REST IN PEACE AMEN.
June 3, 2002
Cheryl and Rich:
You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
May 30, 2002
She looks and sounds like a wonderful lady. Makes me very honored that I got to assemble the comfortghan for her dear husband
April 11, 2002
Thelma sounds like a great Mom and Grandma. I hope that her traditions are carried on in some way by her families and so that she may live on thru them and future generations. God Bless You All and My Sympathies.
February 22, 2002
to the cuccinello family, just want you all to know you will always be in our thoughts & prayers.& we know that thelma is up in heaven in god's kingdom. god bless
pauline & mike brown
February 22, 2002
To the family of Thelma Cuccinelo you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you all. Thelma is in heaven now.
January 13, 2002
We are very sorry for your loss of Thelma. May her family values, her sewing abilities, her life and love live on in you. Our hearts cry with you.
We see your sorrow-
and our hearts cry....
We can not erase your pain
but you do not have to face the anguish alone-for we-
-the American people-
are beside you.
We so desperately want to have the touch that brings you comfort,
the strength that gives you courage,
and the words to lighten your spirits.
And when we are left speechless
may the silence of our nation weave love into your hearts
to ease your sorrow.
May you find healing through our nation's strength as we-
-the American people-
face this difficult time together. Our hearts are with you. Teresa Jahn
January 12, 2002
To the Cuccinello family,
I never met Thelma, but my co-worker told me her parents were Thelma's neighbors in Wilmot, NH.
I am so sorry for your loss and I hope you have found comfort from the words expressed from all over the world about the innocent victims who perished on September 11. My heart goes out to those loved ones left behind.
I know there was a special place in Heaven just for you, Thelma, because that is where Angels go to meet God!
God Bless you and the loved ones you left behind! Rest In Peace, Thelma.
December 30, 2001
Trinity Episcopal Church
410 North Pine Street
Florence, Alabama 35630
To the Family of Thelma Cuccinello,
On All Saints Sunday, November 4th, Trinity Episcopal Church held a Blood Drive in memory of all who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Each person who donated chose a name to memorialize by his or her gift. Thelma Cuccinello was chosen by Anne Roy, a member of our church. Although we cannot lessen your personal pain and grief over this terrible tragedy, please know that you and your loved one are not forgotten and that we keep you in our hearts and prayers. May God bless you!
Mary White for Trinity Episcopal Church
November 4, 2001
I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I will continue to pray for you. May God's peace and comfort be with you.
October 17, 2001
My thoughts and prayers are with all of Thelmas family and friends
September 29, 2001
MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO YOU ALL.MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
THELMA MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.
September 26, 2001
My family sends it's heartfelt prayers to Maria and her family at this time. God Bless you.