Cheryl Gucwa Kaiser
FUNERAL HOME
Hanley Funeral Home Inc
60 New Dorp Ln
Staten Island, NY
'Singer, actress, speech therapist, mentor, and philanthropist' Cheryl Gucwa Kaiser passed away at home surrounded by her beloved family. Cheryl was raised in Richmondtown with her five siblings. She was a singer, actress, speech therapist, mentor, and philanthropist. She graduated from St. Patrick's School, where she was given a first-class education by the Sisters of St. Dorothy. She was an exemplary student and enjoyed everything school had to offer: shows and musicals, choir, art and science fairs, and the sacraments. She discovered her great passion for music and comedy in the eighth grade when she was cast as Maria in the "The Sound of Music", eventually leading her to a major in theatre at Wagner College, and an MA in Drama in England, supported by a Rotary International Graduate Fellowship. While in college, she competed in the Miss Staten Island Pageant coming in 1st Runner-up. She always joked that she "won the top prize," as she met her future husband Glenn Kaiser, the pianist at the auditions. Cheryl became a member of Actor's Equity Association and enjoyed a professional career performing leading roles in regional musicals. She changed careers, graduated from Columbia University at the top of her class with an MS in Speech-language pathology. She found exciting work at the Mother Franciska Elementary School, Arrochar. There she was able to introduce K-8 children with disabilities to the best combination of innovative speech services, while incorporating the performing arts. She also mentored many Hill students to become Speech Pathology majors, while training many St Patrick's students to become church cantors. Her favorite role, however, was as Mother to her two children, Max and Grace Mary, and wife to her husband and musical partner, Glenn. She enjoyed bragging about them and their musical, academic, and personal accomplishments. She frequently told them she loved them because she felt this was the most important thing you could ever say to your children. For over or over 40 years, her shining soprano voice rang out in St. Patrick's Church, with her husband as organist and conductor of the choirs. The Adult and Youth Choirs became treasured second families. She sang at more than 1000 funerals, weddings, and weekly Masses in her church. She touched many hearts with her warmth and compassionate artistry. Her yearbook quote was, "God respects me when I work, but He loves me when I sing." Cheryl loved the entire St. Patrick's parish family, the Sisters, Priests, faculty, staff, and all the parishioners, and most especially anyone who volunteered. Cheryl also had a devotion to Servant of God Fr. Vincent Capodanno, M.M., Vietnam War hero and native Staten Islander. She and her prayer circle prayed for his eventual canonization. A proud moment in Cheryl's life was when her dear sister Nancy Rose pronounced her vows to the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri after years as an officer in the US Army. Cheryl is survived by her husband and children, her father John Gucwa, her siblings Bonnie (Charles, deceased) Vaccaro, Sr. Nancy Rose Gucwa, OSB, Helen Gucwa, Robert (Laura) Gucwa, Cynthia (Tom) Ostrowski, her sisters-in-law Donna Boyle (Donald), Karen (Louis) Nuccio, and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her life-long friends, Denise, Rich, and Leslie who were family. Cheryl loved flowers while she was living, but did not want flowers at her funeral when so many charities need the contributions. Instead, she asked that donations be sent to her two favorite charities: St. Patrick's School, 3560 Richmond Road, Staten Island, 10306 – write in the memo section "music and theatre"; or The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 31970 State Highway P, Clyde, MO 64432. (BenedictineSisters.org). Funeral arrangements will be handled by her good friends Dave and Frank at Hanley Funeral home. Visiting will be on Saturday from 2-6 pm at Hanley. A prayer vigil with visitation afterwards will be held on Sunday evening at 7:30pm in St. Patrick's Church, 53 St. Patrick's Place, and All Are Welcome. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday at 10:00 in St Patrick's Church, with interment at Resurrection Cemetery.
Published by Staten Island Advance from Nov. 18 to Nov. 19, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Nov
20
Visitation
2:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.
Hanley Funeral Home Inc
60 New Dorp Ln, Staten Island, NY
Nov
21
Visitation
St. Patrick's Church
53 St. Patrick's Place, NY
Nov
21
Vigil
7:30p.m.
St. Patrick's Church
53 St. Patrick's Place, NY
Nov
22
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00a.m.
St Patrick's Church
NY
Funeral services provided by:
Hanley Funeral Home Inc
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19 Entries
John, Robert and family, It is with a heavy heart that I offer you my most sincere condolences on Cheryl´s passing. Her angelic voice lifted the spirits of all who attended my Mother´s funeral mass at Saint Patrick´s church. We will cherish her memory.
Dennis Fitzgerald
School
November 24, 2021
Dear Glenn and family, We are very saddened by your loss. We will always remember Cheryl as our next door neighbor on Amelia Ct. She always had that contagious smile. Our deepest sympathy. Barbara & Ken
Barbara and Ken Birstler
Friend
November 22, 2021
so sorry for your loss, She was a very loving kind and funny person. I don't think my wife laughed harder then when they were together. God Bless and keep you all
Alan Gill Lynn's husband
Friend
November 22, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Risley Family
Friend
November 21, 2021
My deepest condolences to all of you. I have so many memories of Cheryl from all the years she studied with my mom. She was amazingly talented and always cheerful and smiling. She will be terribly missed.
Suzanne Odessa
Friend
November 20, 2021
Once in a while there is someone very unusual whom we encounter. Cheryl had many talents and a divine spark for living and loving to the fullest. She will continue to be an example to those whom she graced with her voice and her presence. Rest in the light of Christ. Amen.
Gloria Patri
Other
November 20, 2021
Could never forget her powerful voice. Sang like an angel. With Glen on the organ they made going to church enjoyable. May you sing Heaven´s choir.
Ted Grandstaff
November 20, 2021
My dear friend Cheryl, words can never express how much I loved you and how much you meant to me. From the moment I met you I knew that you would be my forever friend. You were a big sister who I often looked to for advice about family, faith and friends. We shared so many precious moments inside and outside the classroom. I treasured our breakfast meetings, our phone calls, our text messages, your letters and our drive by visits. I loved your positive attitude, your kind heart and your incredible faith. You were my co-worker, who shared a wealth of knowledge with me and always encouraged me to believe in my abilities as a speech language pathologist. I loved watching you work with your students. You were a gifted and loving therapist who gave the best of yourself each and every day. Glenn, Max, Grace Mary, Cheryl loved you more than life itself. She spoke so highly of each of you and her family was certainly her pride and joy. I feel as I know each of you from the stories she shared. May God fill your hearts with a peace that surpasses understanding and give you strength during this time. Mother Teresa said, "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." I am certainly a better and happier person for having known your beautiful Cheryl. I will miss her forever.
Beth Ann Harrington
Friend
November 19, 2021
I´m so sorry about the passing of Cheryl...!! My heart breaks for you Glenn and your children..! Cheryl had such a powerful voice in church at St. Patrick´s.! Such a wonderful woman and I am completely devastated by your loss..!! May God guide you and your family at this sad time and give you Grace and emotional support. My deepest condolences..!!
Maryann Deegan
Friend
November 19, 2021
Uncle John and family. As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Eileen Stapf
Family
November 19, 2021
Our deepest sympathy to her beloved family and friends. Cheryl is a person that wore a smile every single time I saw her. My heart breaks for everyone that will miss this beautiful person. May we honor her by remembering her with acts of kindness and love. And, may we say a pray for her each time we sing at St. Patrick's, especially Amazing Grace.
Liz Cotter
November 19, 2021
So sorry to hear about Cheryl passing away my heart goes out to glen and his children she had a voice that was like an angel so beautiful
Linda Dene
November 19, 2021
My dearest friend and sister in Christ, thank you for your generous spirit towards me. I am so blessed and better because of your love and example. You accepted everything God allowed, with grace, knowing He would work all things out for your good because you loved Him and were called according to His purposes. Your faith was tested and it was seen to be pure gold, because it was genuine and given to you by God. I will miss your smile and warm voice but I look forward to the day when we are all reunited in glory, my sister. Soon and very soon. I love you. Lifting up Glenn, Grace Mary, and Max and all of Cheryl's dearest family members and friends. Praying for peace and an extra measure of grace ...cling to Christ as Cheryl did. All my love.
Katerina Theodoracopoulos
Friend
November 19, 2021
Dear Glenn, Please know that your wife and your family are in my prayers. Be at peace, Sue Welborn
Suzanne Welborn (Amelia Ct)
November 19, 2021
Cheryl was a great co-worker at P.S. 44. I remember how she greeted me with a big smile when I first started working at the school. She was full of energy and spirit. I pray that she rests in peace.
Margaret Matos
Work
November 19, 2021
My dear friend Cheryl, I know you are now at peace. I will miss your friendship, advice, and wisdom. Your smile and positivity touched all those in your presence. May your light continue to shine upon us. Rest in eternal peace.
Dawn Meade
Friend
November 19, 2021
I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Cheryl! I am a retired teacher who worked very closely with her to offer our children the best possible education. She was so dedicated and meticulous in everything she did! A master writer, Cheryl helped me in writing IEPs for our kids. She was such a loving, caring, friend, but more than that, she was determined to make a difference in the lives of our students; and she did!!! She talked about her own children so lovingly and with pride. I am so thankful to have known and worked with her! Rest in Peace beautiful angel! You will be missed!
Debra Vella
Work
November 19, 2021
A beautiful voice silenced here on earth, now graces the heavens. Although we were neighbors for a short time, Cheryl´s warm and loving personality made her unforgettable. Deepest condolences to Glenn and their children.
Joan and Mark Canu
Friend
November 19, 2021
I'm so saddened to read this ... my sincerest sympathy to Glenn and Cheryl's family .... oh my ... I'm going back at least 40 years ... I'd usually bump into Cheryl at our voice teacher's home , Gloria Volante .... that's where we both picked up: " G_d respects me when I work, but He loves me when I sing" ... Remembering Cheryl's singing so well , as I do; indeed, G_d really loved her and respected her too. I can literally close my eyes and see her stopping the show at Wagner College as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls as if it was last weekend ... and I remember Glenn too , a consummate musician and gentleman ... from my time doing musicals at St John Villa ... two wonderfully talented wonderful people ... I was fortunate to briefly work with. Well ... I'm so sad reading this ... again, my sympathy to Glenn and Cheryl's family... I will always remember Cheryl singing and bringing down the house ... wonderful talented lady.
Kevin Lobat
Other
November 18, 2021
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