Patricia Nichols Curcuru: beloved grandmother and “The Coke Lady”

Patricia Nichols Curcuru, a.k.a. “The Coke Lady”, age 97, passed away peacefully in her sleep at a Long Island medical facility on December 31st, 2018 from old age.

Born in August 1921, Patricia or “Pat” grew up in Highland Falls, NY, daughter of George Nichols and Marie Howell, with her sister Penny. Years after the early death of Pat’s mother Marie, George remarried and had two further daughters, Nancy and Georgia. The four sisters kept in close touch their whole lives and planned family reunions later as the “Golden Girls”.

Growing up as a banker’s daughter, Pat learned the value of hard work and investing money at an early age. She worked summers at the First National Bank of Highland Falls, working her way up to teller, as well as many other jobs. She tracked her pay carefully and started investing in stocks at an early age, including her beloved Coca-Cola company. Pat started balancing her checkbook daily, a habit she kept up every day of her life.

Attending the College of William & Mary for her undergraduate degree, she was a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, as were her mother and grandmother. She continued her education and sorority work at Syracuse University with a masters in mathematics.

She met her West Point sweetheart Edmond H. Curcuru shortly before he departed for the European Theater in World War II as an officer freshly graduated from the USMA. Their first son Steven was born while Edmond was leading his men with the 101st Airborne Division in France and Belgium.

Patricia and Edmond moved frequently for Edmond’s management jobs after the war, while she did seasonal work as a tax preparer for H&R Block and worked as a part-time real estate agent. They enjoyed traveling the world around, especially to anyplace with sunny beaches.

Along with her gregarious personality, having a story for everyone and every situation, Patricia continued her life-long love affair with Coca-Cola. From drinking her daily Coke to collecting reproduction and historical Coke trays, posters, and even several working refrigerated Coca-Cola coolers, she was known as “The Coke Lady” near and far.

Patricia called several places home in her life, including Palm Springs, CA; Weston, CT; and both Longboat Key, FL, and Southold, NY, where she loved swimming in the bays and watching the sunset over the waves on the beaches.

Patricia was predeceased by her husband Edmond H. Curcuru and son Steven N. Curcuru; and is survived by her remaining sons Kevin H. Curcuru, and Kim M. Curcuru; grandchildren Shane Curcuru, Emily Curcuru, Julie Curcuru, and Todd Curcuru, and great-grandchildren Roxanne Curcuru, Arin Mcgilvray. Alistair and Ariana Dreher. Services will be held later this summer in Southold, NY, at the family plot.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your preferred U.S. Army Veterans organization, or to the North Fork United Methodist Church, in memoriam of Patricia Curcuru “The Coke Lady”.

Steven Nichols Curcuru: television pioneer; technology columnist; Resident Wizard [UPDATE 1]

Steven Nichols Curcuru, television pioneer, technology columnist, and Resident Wizard, age 68, passed away peacefully at a friend’s home in Groton, MA on January 6th, 2013, as a result of pancreatic cancer.

Born in October 1944 at the West Point Military Hospital while his father was serving in the European Theater in WW2, Steven grew up with his parents Edmond and Patricia and two younger brothers. Although the family moved frequently during Steven’s childhood, they regularly spent summers in Southhold, NY where he raced his Lightning sailboat and worked as a lifeguard at Founders Landing Beach. After graduating early from Phillips Academy, he attended the College of William & Mary where he worked at the school’s radio station WCWM and as a folk music producer, and graduated in 1967.

Steven then moved to Concord, MA, and worked at WNAC-TV Channel 7 in Boston. In his long tenure at Channel 7, he brought many innovations to the television newsroom in the 1970s and 1980s, including designing and installing the first-ever computer network story editing systems, computer-controlled studio cameras, and computer animated weather graphics. Steven produced a number of major news events at Channel 7, including Emmy award-winning coverage from onboard the USCGC Eagle of the American Bicentennial OpSail ’76, as well as winning other Emmy awards and a New York Film Festival award. He was also a part-time journalism professor at Boston University, where he particularly enjoyed mentoring newcomers to television news production and helped to launch a number of careers in broadcast journalism. In 1993, Steven moved on to become the Resident Wizard at Mugar Enterprises, advising the company on technology investments and working to produce and expand Boston’s Fourth of July events. He wrote a regular column for PC Week, and served as a judge at Comdex computer conferences.

Steven is survived by his mother Patricia N Curcuru, his brothers Kevin H. Curcuru and Kim M. Curcuru, his son Shane Curcuru, granddaughter Roxanne Curcuru, significant other Linda Miller-Foster, and best friend Karen Coe.

A memorial gathering is planned at the end of January in Sudbury, MA for local friends and family. A private family memorial will be held at Southhold, NY in the summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memoriam of Steven N. Curcuru to the Northeast Animal Shelter, to the MSPCA-Angell shelter, or to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.

Comments or questions about arrangements posted here will be passed on to the family.

Dr. Edmond Harvey Curcuru, CPT (R) USA: beloved grandfather; decorated officer; distinguished lecturer

Dr. Edmond Harvey Curcuru, CPT (R) USA, age 89, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Longboat Key, FL home on March 20th, 2011, as a result of long-term heart complications.

Born in April, 1921, Edmond grew up in Ferndale, MI with his parents Louis and Florence, two brothers and sister. After high school, he and his brother Louis both received Congressional nominations, and were accepted into the same class at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY. While at West Point, his brother Louis lost his life while flying a training mission. Edmond graduated in an abbreviated three years with the class of June 1943 and received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Before departing for the war in Europe, he married his Highland Falls, NY sweetheart, Patricia Nichols.

Arriving in Europe in the fall of 1944, Edmond was assigned to the 502nd PIR of the 101st “Screaming Eagles” Airborne division a few short days before the Battle of the Bulge. He made his only combat jump off the back of a truck into the battle near Bastogne, where the 101st was encircled by the enemy. As the only surviving officer of his company, he led his men until forces of the 3rd Army broke the encirclement, winning the Bronze Star for his actions. Shortly thereafter, he was wounded by a bomb, losing the use of his wrist and acquiring some lifelong shrapnel along with a Purple Heart.

After his medical discharge from the U.S. Army after the war, he taught at Miami University in Ohio until being recalled by the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He spent his remaining Army service as a Captain teaching at West Point, and was one of the original faculty members of the Department of Military Psychology and Leadership.

After retiring on disability from the U.S. Army, Edmond moved to Connecticut, where he consulted and presented training for Life Office Management Association and across the insurance industry while receiving his PhD from Columbia University. He was one of the founding professors at the Stamford branch of the University of Connecticut Business School, where he taught business and management classes. He traveled extensively for his teaching, lecture, and consulting work on leadership and management theory with many insurance companies, and served as a director for the Sentry Life Insurance Company of New York.

Edmond continued his consulting and teaching work with his own company, Management Services, Inc. for many years, well past his retirement age. He called several places home in his life, including Palm Springs, FL; Weston, CT; Longboat Key, FL, and especially Southold, NY, where he dearly loved predicting the weather, and watching the sunset over the waves on the beach.

Edmond is survived by his wife, Patricia N. Curcuru; his sons Steven N. Curcuru, Kevin H. Curcuru, and Kim M. Curcuru; grandchildren Shane Curcuru, Julie Curcuru, Emily Curcuru, and Todd Curcuru, and great grandchildren Roxanne Curcuru and Arin Mcgilvray. Services will be held later this summer at the Southold United Methodist Church in Southold, NY, at the family plot.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your preferred U.S. Army Veterans organization, or to the Southold United Methodist Church, in memoriam of E.H. Curcuru, USMA June ’43.

Condolences and memories may be added on the web Comments on below and will be presented to Patricia and the family.

R.I.P. Dion Gillard (1967-2008)

Although I never met Dion in person, I knew him through various ASF mailing lists. May he rest in peace and may his family find some solace; there were many souls who appreciated his kindness and technical help in the open source world.


I was reminded of Dion this weekend when my IM client started popping up “Add to contact list?” notifications from Dion’s hotmail account. It was already late at night, and I had been slogging through a very difficult set of email threads, so it was a very spooky experience to suddenly see him reaching out for me. The most likely explanation is the technical one: I had just upgraded to Trillian Astra, so in setting up my new contact list and notification preferences, it presumably found some long lost invitations Dion had sent me.

This brings up an interesting point, however. While there has been plenty of punditry about the longevity of online identities – sometimes surpassing human lives – how much concrete policy has been made about the issue?

Seriously – how many of those endless Terms Of Service agreements you click through when joining a new website, or making an order online address the subject of what happens to your online data when you die? How would a family member realistically go about presenting a certified death certificate to TheLatestSocialNetwork.Com to get the deceased’s page updated? What does it mean to the social networking connection hierarchy of “friend; family; best friend; no, really best friend who can share secret messages; co-worker; other” of link status when someone you know has passed away?

Heck, what should (in the geeky technical sense, not the legal or moral sense) happen to someone’s online data, presuming that they didn’t specify what they wanted to happen. There’s historical and social value in leaving URLs around, since someone somewhere will be looking for that data someday later on. Maybe some of Dion’s friends want to keep his name in their FaceBook friends list, as a way of remembering him?

Frederick A. Otto, 61: beloved co-worker and outdoorsman; father and stepfather; loving husband

I’m not quite sure what else to put here, other than what we’ve already put in the local papers where Fred was well known. Needless to say we’ve been rather busy, and I probably won’t have a normal schedule for at least another week after other family events. So sorry if I haven’t gotten back to someone recently!

Fred not only taught me about the outdoors – hiking, fishing, hunting – but also taught me to play cards, and almost more importantly (to me, anyway) taught me to appreciate good rock and roll. I also know that he was both a good husband and father, and even more so was a good stepfather.

Frederick A. Otto, 61, of Littleton MA and Randolph NH, died at his home in Littleton on Dec 3. He was born in Northampton MA on July 23, 1946, son of the late Ernest and Dorothy (Dahill) Otto. Fred grew up in Northampton and was a graduate of Northampton High School. Fred received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and an MBA from Michigan State University.

Fred worked at GenRad for over 20 years and later QuadTech. Most recently Fred worked at Instron as a Vice President where he was held in the highest regard by colleagues who also became dear friends during his 12 year tenure. Fred was dedicated to his profession and will be greatly missed by his work family.

Aside from work Fred enjoyed the outdoors, camping, hunting, hiking and most of all fishing. From their Randolph home Fred and Phyllis fished many rivers together and achieved their goal of hiking all 48 of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s NH Four Thousand Footers. From their Littleton home Fred was a member of the South Fitchburg Hunting and Fishing Club and previously a member of the Harvard Sportsman’s Club.

Fred is survived by his wife Phyllis Curcuru, son Robert Otto, and a stepson Shane Curcuru, his wife Amy, and daughter Roxanne. He is also survived by a sister Susan Wight.

Visiting Hours will be held at the Badger Funeral Home, 347 King St. Littleton on Thursday from 11-1 pm and 4-6 pm with a Funeral Service at 6 pm. Burial will be at the New Cemetery, Randolph NH on Saturday at 1 pm.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Randolph Mountain Club as follows:
Randolph Mountain Club
PO Box 279
Gorham NH 03581
Please write “In memory of Fred Otto” on the check memo line

Thanks to the friends, family, and co-workers who’ve helped out along the way.