Annette Fucillo Remembered: Matriarch of Family Was ‘a Very Special Lady’

That was a warm and loving tribute paid this week as people came to honor and celebrate the life of Annette Fucillo, who passed away on Jan. 18 at the age of 89. She shared 65 years of marriage with her beloved husband, Anthony C. Fucillo, and together they raised five children in our town, all of whom proudly carried on this highly respected family name.

This week at the memorial observances at Caggiano and Son-O’Malley Funeral Home and the St. John the Evangelist Church, we got to learn more about this wonderful woman “whose greatest love were her children and her grandchildren and whose greatest virtue was giving.” This was a woman who was  proud of her family and the exceptional mark that it has made on this town, and it all starts with the wonderful example she set for the family and all who knew her.

Of course, when we think of the name Fucillo in this town, you think of sports and specifically football and that’s because Annette’s son, Tony, came to be in our minds one of the greatest coaches in the history of Massachusetts schoolboy football, a status that was affirmed by his entry into the Massachusetts State Coach Hall of Fame. We remember the pride and joy that Annette and her husband felt about the success of her son’s Winthrop High football program, and having a second son, Richard, contribute so much to the team’s success as a nonpareil line coach.

And then to watch some of her grandchildren, whom she loved so dearly and for whom she was like a second mother, excel on the sports field and conduct themselves like gentlemen and scholar-athletes off the field — there was so many joyful moments in her life and it all started with the love and support she gave them when they were growing up and visiting her residence on a regular basis.

So too, do we recognize the accomplishments in the field of education of two of Annette’s daughters, Gail Conlon, the dedicated and outstanding teacher and administrator who is winding down her distinguished career in the position of principal of Winthrop High School, and Linda Breau, a highly regarded administrator who is assistant superintendent of the Chelsea schools.

The honor of delivering the public recitation of this special lady’s life was given to Anthony Fucillo, Annette’s grandson and one of this town’s most heralded athletes who became a leader of the football team at Tufts, one of the nation’s most prestigious universities. Anthony spoke about the love of his grandmother and the special things she would do for him such as making the peanut butter and jelly and egg plant sandwiches with the love and care that only a grandmother can do. It was a beautiful eulogy delivered by a young man who is a credit to his parents and grandparents.

We know we join with all of our fellow residents in offering our condolences to the family of Annette Fucillo on their loss

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