A community icon in public education will be greatly missed in his Pelham Bay community and beyond after his death earlier this month.
Louis Curcio, 68, a public high school teacher and education leader for almost 40 years, passed away from cancer at Calvary Hospital on Friday, Dec. 14. Curcio served for two two-year terms on Community School Board 8 in the late-1980s, including as its president for a term.
He was instrumental in naming Junior High School 101 (later M.S. 101) after slain police officer Edward R. Byrne, said longtime friend Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who served on the school board with Curcio.
“He was a person of unquestioned integrity and honesty,” said Vacca. “He was someone who deeply cared about the schools – whether they were in Hunts Point or Throggs Neck.”
Curcio’s teaching job helped on the school board, Vacca added.
“He brought to the school board not only a very level temperament, but also a knowledge of curriculum and of teaching that was very rare,” said Vacca. “ It was an expertise that really helped us on the board.”
A Queens College graduate, Curcio taught social studies at Francis Lewis HS and Benjamin Cardoza HS in Queens, and Samuel Gompers HS and lastly at Lehman High School in the Bronx, said Curcio’s sister-in-law, Margaret Curcio.
“He just lived for his three nephews,” she said of Curcio, who never married. “They were his life and his everything. He was just a family person.”
Vacca said that in recent years Curcio was an advocate for graffiti removal in the Pelham Bay community he loved. Senator Jeff Klein stated Curcio would provide weekly reports to his graffiti clean up program.
“He wanted to maintain Pelham Bay as a viable community,” said Vacca, who along with NYPD Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre, eulogized Curcio on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
Curcio is also survived by his brother John and nephews Michael, John, and Louis Curcio.
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 742-3393