AIDA G. KINCZEL (nee Cutrone), age 92, beloved wife for 56 years to the late Martin J., dear mother of Paul, Peter (Barbara) and Stephen (Barbara), loving grandmother of Sara, Aaron (Mindi), Matthew, Daniel (Taylor) and Olivia, great-grandmother of Kayla, Adriah, Taryn and Charlotte, devoted daughter of the late James N. and Ermalinda “Emily” (nee Graziano) Cutrone, cherished sister of the late John (Helen) and Alfred (Rose) Cutrone and Josephine Bonacci (Andrew). Special thanks to Aida’s caregivers over the past years: Sondra, Esther, Vivian and Joann. Born in Cleveland, OH, she graduated from Mayfield High School and went on to work at the GE Lamp Division at Nela Park. Aida was involved in many organizations throughout her life, including Mayfield High School Alumni Association and Adult Education, St. Gregory (Sacred Heart of Jesus) Ladies Guild, Sanctuary Group and Eucharistic Adoration.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or to Catholic Charities, 7911 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, OH 44102. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, June 5, 2020 at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish at 11 AM. NOTE: Please observe social distancing, be seated in the church, and masks are required. Private burial for family only at All Souls Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to THE DeJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME OF SOUTH EUCLID.
Paul, Steve and Pete thought it might be fitting to list out some of the many memories of Aida’s life as a tribute to their Mom….
- She was the baby of the family. She always told us she was blonde and green-eyed, so everyone teased her that she couldn’t possibly belong to her Italian family.
- Grew up during The Depression and spent her entire life in the Cleveland area. She was the city’s biggest cheerleader and supporter. Without fail, she’d tell relatives and friends from out of town what a wonderful city she lived in.
- Spent much of her years growing up on Temple Ave. in Mayfield Heights. It was a beautiful old house and she had wonderful memories there. We never forgot the day they tore it down; she and Dad were there to watch the wrecking ball take it to the ground. She was crying the entire time.
- Mom was a great storyteller. She recounted that she had a wonderful childhood growing up. Hers was a very close-knit family and she perpetually remained close to her mom, dad, sister and brothers. She loved to go through her pictures and photo albums and tell us all about the old relatives and her life experiences. Mom was quite the organizer; she catalogued slides that Dad took of family vacations, excursions and milestone events. Both her and Dad relished the opportunity to host “slide night” where they showed family/friends the most recent set of slides documenting their latest activities/adventures on the projector/portable screen.
- She cherished her childhood and especially her high school years at the old Mayfield High School on SOM Center Rd. She recounted that she was scared of school at first, but once she got familiar, became quite the social butterfly, participated in many activities and made many friends. Making friends was something that came easily for Mom and she worked hard to cultivate/maintain those friendships; organizing get-togethers, trips and social events. Mom regularly phoned to check up on folks and touch base. She was religious about sending letters, cards out to everyone and never missed a holiday, birthday or graduation. As her health declined, she continued to do this and it amazed me how many people would call to check up on her and wish her well. It was a testament to her dedication to those friendships and proof that her efforts paid off. Her friendships with Betty Radio/Lasco, “Midge” Dyer/Turchan and Pat Lawson/Castor lasted literally 8 decades. She has had so many great friends that it is impossible to recount them all. Suffice it to say, that aside from family, her friendships were the most important aspect of her life.
- Mom loved animals and had countless dogs and cats growing up. Her favorite was an English springer spaniel named Linda that used to follow her around everywhere she went when she was a kid.
- Learned to dance at school over lunchtime and she really grew to love it. She was a huge sports fanatic; football and baseball were her favorite pastimes and she enjoyed playing softball when she was young. Her favorite baseball player was Lou Boudreau and she frequently recounted the 1948 World Series and the home game she attended where Boudreau pinch-hit to bring in the winning run. Her Dad was a Tailor and he made suits for each and every Indians player after that series. She lived and died with the Browns and Bernie Kosar.
- In her later years, Mom would watch every Cleveland game from home on her TV. She became quite a Cavs fan, loved Austin Carr and celebrated when they won the NBA championship in 2016. It was quite entertaining for Steve and I to watch the games with her and we were amused at how excited she would get when the Browns made a good (or bad) play. We’d have to make sure that the windows were shut when she would start yelling at the players!
- Mom was an avid golfer (her strong suit was putting); she was involved in golf leagues for many years and won a league championship at Locust Grove in 1976. She was so happy to have been witness to the hole in one I got at Green Ridge golf course back in 1975 (along with Paul and Jack Keefe).
- During the war years Mom helped with scrap metal drives, practiced air-raid drills and was extremely proud to have worked for the Navy department as a typist. She worked at GE in Nela Park after graduating from high-school and made many more friendships. Margaret Callow became a mentor and trusted friend. The “GE group” would regularly get together for visits at each others homes and remained steadfast friends their entire lives.
- Met Dad on a blind-date and told us that they fell in love and knew they were a match right away. They spent 56 years together and raised us in a loving home. Family always came first and her Catholic faith was the cornerstone of her life. Mom was actively involved in our school activities. She emphasized honesty, respect, hard work and the importance of meeting our commitments. Paul, Steve and I used to laugh about how Mom always thought we were perfect. While we tried to emulate the behaviors that Mom and Dad wanted, we were far from perfect. She eventually found that out the hard way, but while she acknowledged it to us, she continued to push this “perfection story” when she would talk about us with her friends. It actually became quite the running joke.
- She and Dad were very active in the St. Gregory parish. She volunteered to cover playground duty when we attended school there, she was a member of the Ladies Guild and volunteered to help out at virtually every festival or fund-raising event. She was a member of the rectory cleaning crew and low unto anyone who ever said a negative word about her church or any of the priests in the parish. She never missed mass until she became too ill to attend.
- Mom was devoted to Dad; there was never any doubt about that. That devotion showed through during his long hours working at North American Coal and our weekly visits to my grandparents’ farm. The “work farm” is what we used to call it because of all the chores we’d perform whenever we’d visit. To say Mom and my grandmother had a testy relationship would be an understatement. However, Mom continued to support Dad in every way possible and was always respectful of “Grams”. She always helped out even when it would have been far easier to refuse or to become critical. I really respected her for that.
- Mom treasured travel; family vacations to Ship Bottom, NJ, the Finger Lakes and the Outer Banks, trips to Bermuda and Kiawa Island. Her trip to Europe with Dad in 1995 allowed her the opportunity to become extremely close with Renata Dragos; one of Dad’s Romanian nieces. Mom and Dad traveled the country in their camper and frequently drove the long trek to/from Minnesota to visit Pete, Barb and family and Green Bay to visit with Sara and Bill.
- We have wonderful memories of Christmas Eve with Mom’s siblings and our cousins Lou, Jim and Sandra. They’d rotate which family would host the annual event and it was much anticipated. I can still smell the smelts and Italian pasta dishes; nobody could make cannoli like Auntie Rose. Playing 7 1/2 after dinner and watching various people lose all their pennies while Uncle Fred tried to “squeeze out” a hand by playing a “card down for a nickel” was a pastime we’ll never forget.
- She loved her home and neighborhood on Maywood Rd in South Euclid. She lived there for 64 years and became the matriarch of the neighborhood. She enjoyed her friendship with the Keefe’s and Taddeos immensely. We recollect breakfast cookouts and “eye-openers” with the Payson’s, daily food deliveries from Lou/Roseanne, BBQ’s with the Dudas’, 24×7 help from Scott and Jan Minor, paper deliveries from Art/Cindy Ols, the Woods sisters, Barb Kirchner, Reverend Volpitto, Jamie DeFrancesco….. on and on we could go. What a wonderful neighbor Mom was – and what wonderful neighbors she has had throughout that long period. Mom wouldn’t trade her life on Maywood for anything. And Paul, Steve and Pete felt the same way growing up there.
- Mom was always so proud of her family. She beamed with pride over Paul’s business and his farm. She loved to talk about Steve’s work at the Zoo and Pete’s career at IBM. She was a wonderful mother-in-law for both Pete’s Barb and Steve’s Barb. Mom loved her grandchildren and never played favorites. She was as close to Sara and Aaron as she was to Matt, Dan and Olivia. She was so happy when Matt moved back from Minnesota in 2011. She cherished the time she and Dad spent taking care of Dan and Olivia when they were growing up. Her great-grandchildren’s pictures were displayed with pride in every room of the house. She was so happy at the recent birth of Charlotte. Those baby pictures of her made her so happy when she was ill recently.
- In the final summation, Mom lived a full and happy life. A long life with good health, wonderful experiences, a loving family and so many close friends is rare indeed. She surprised all of us with her resiliency and perseverance while in declining health over the last few years. We were amazed at her longevity, having lived almost 93 years; the last of her generation and a longer life than any other member of our family. We have a special place in our heart for her caregivers; Sondra, Esther, Vivian and Joann. And I would be negligent not to note the extraordinary dedication Paul has shown in taking care of her every need for the last 8 years. It played no small part in her happiness and joy in the last years of her life.
Mom, we will always cherish your love and our memories of you. We will miss you greatly, but our loss is offset knowing that you are now with Dad in a better place.
Paul, Steve and Pete
Charity Name: ST JUDE CHILDRENS RESEARCH HOSPITAL INC, CATHOLIC CHARITIES CORPORATION
Charity EIN: 620646012, 340718368