Received sad news this morning.
My Aunt Eleanor passed away last night. She was my mom’s older sister.
I loved that woman so much.
As a young boy when I would visit my cousins she always made me feel so good. She went out of her way to make me feel part of her family. I always felt like her son.
Aunt Ellie was tough but fair. Her discipline was what I needed. It’s what all kids need. You messed up, she let you know. Aunt Eleanor did a wonderful job raising her sons and daughters; Lenny (RIP), Ellie, Corbett, Michael and Dori.
Before her family moved to Greenwood Lake, I recall spending New Year’s Eve at her house on 13th street between 3rd and 4th avenues. We didn’t have any noise makers so she would bust out the pots and pans from her kitchen and we would go outside in front of the house and ring in the new year… the old school way.
Aunt Eleanor and her family left the concrete jungle for fresh air, trees and green grass.
Summers spent up in Greenwood Lake were times I will never forget.
My mother, older brother, young sister and yours truly would take the bus from Port Authority in Manhattan and two hours later arrive in town where Eleanor was always waiting to pick us up and take us back to the house.
On warm summer nights we would drive to the local ball field to watch Michael and Corbett play for the Greenwood Lake Elks softball team under the lights. I thought it was the coolest thing.
In the winter, in my early twenties, I would hop on the bus at Port Authority, this time alone to watch little Ellie play hoops for Tuxedo High School. For two straight years their team made it to States in Glens Falls, New York. Eleanor and I would sit in the stands and cheer Ellie on.
Most of all, Aunt Ellie’s love and warmth shown to me made me feel like a million dollars.
Their home in Greenwood Lake was sweet. And boy was it huge. I was jealous. We lived in a five-room, railroad apartment on Ninth Avenue. They had a really cool built-in swimming pool out back. We would also play wiffle ball on their lawn.
The first time I watched E.S.P.N. was at their house in Greenwood Lake. One Friday night when we arrived for the weekend Eleanor grabbed the channel changer and found the all-sports station. Cable was unavailable in Brooklyn so every time we visited I would sit on the couch at night and watch TV.
Aunt Ellie boosted my self-esteem. She knew I was a sports junkie.
We often spent Thanksgivings up at the Lake. Aunt Ellie always prepared the best dinner. Seemed like she was always standing in the kitchen working her ass off while everyone was seated or watching football. She was kind and thoughtful. It was always about others, not about her.
When I was 13 we talked about me possibly moving to Greenwood Lake so I could live with Ellie and my cousins. It fell through, I chickened out. Would have been cool though.
Years later when Eleanor moved back to Brooklyn she drove a sweet looking Lincoln. When I finally got my driver’s license, I didn’t own a car but wouldn’t you know it, she let me use her Lincoln often.
A viewing will be held at The Colonial Funeral Home, 2819 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY on Thursday 10/17/19 from 4:00-8:00pm.
A Mass will be celebrated at St. Charles R.C. Church, 200 Penn Avenue, Staten Island, NY on Friday 10/18/19 at 9:15am.
Rest in peace Aunt Ellie, you were one of the best…
Your nephew, Steven.