Lorraine Boccio, whose volunteerism and many contributions earned her official recognition but primarily the love of many in the Huntington Station community, died Friday morning. She was 60 years old and had suffered from pancreatic cancer.
Boccio, who worked at the former Waldbaum’s supermarket on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, began organizing fundraisers, tributes, veterans’ events and community service projects after the Sept. 11 attacks.
She called the homes of attack victims to offer condolences and to explain that she wanted to do something for the children left behind. She collected money at Waldbaum's by setting out cups at the registers. She made announcements while people shopped to encourage them to donate. She posted pictures and stories about the victims on the store's bulletin board. The effort collected more than $4,000. Customers checking out of the store saw regular updates of packages sent to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In February 2011, she was named Legislative District 17’s 2011 Woman of Distinction by Suffolk County Legislator Lou D’Amaro (D-Huntington Station). He surprised Boccio by presenting her with a proclamation at Waldbaums in Huntington Station where she was the lead customer service representative. She went on to be named Suffolk County Woman of Distinction for 2011, the unanimous choice of the Suffolk County Woman’s Advisory Commission.
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Shortly after Boccio was diagnosed with cancer, her friend Mary Beth Steenson Kraese said, "Not only does she give of herself but she teaches others and encourages them to give," she said. "She is an inspiration to all in the community, and has helped many local kids fulfill their community service requirements for school and scouts."
This weekend, Kraese said, "I will never forget the way she made everyone in the community get involved, even the shy and quiet ones... and their love for Lorraine knowing all she has done for the community... She will always be a special part of my of my life and Everyone who knew her are better people for knowing her."
Visitation is scheduled for Sunday and Monday, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at M. A. Connell Funeral Home Inc., Huntington Station.
Her funeral will be Tuesday at 10 a.m. at St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Huntington Station.
Jeanne Murphy contributed to this story.
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