A street co-naming in honor of a beloved cheerleading coach and community volunteer is coming up shortly.
Michele Muccio, who perished in a 2018 auto crash, will have a street co-named in her honor at St. Theresa and Edison avenues, on Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. in a public sign unveiling.
The mother of three died when another vehicle cut her off as she was travelling southbound on I-95 near Co-op City and lost control of her truck in March 2018.
Muccio was a beloved cheerleading coach who was a prolific volunteer at St. Theresa School before receiving her coach’s certificate and taking the Cardinal Spellman High School cheerleading team, which included her daughter Nikki Marie, to national cheer competitions for the first time, her father Joseph Giaquinta said.
“She wanted the girls to stay active, compete, and just be recognized,” said Giaquinta. “She put Spellman on the map when it comes to cheerleading.”
Spellman Cheerleaders were present at a Mass in Muccio’s honor at St. Theresa’s Church on Sunday, March 17, the anniversary of her passing, said her father.
Community activist and longtime friend Victor DiPierro was recognized during the Mass for spear-heading the street co-naming process in motion in honor of Michele.
Councilman Mark Gjonaj followed through at NYC City Hall, helping in the process, which took a bit longer than expected, he said.
“We dedicated a lot of time to make sure this became a reality,” said Gjonaj. “Michele certainly deserved in the hearts and minds of many to have a street named in her memory.”
The councilman added: “she has been a role model for so many.”
She lived in the Pelham Bay community for her entire life, and volunteered at St. Theresa’s School, when her three children were in the parish school, her husband Christopher Muccio said.
“She didn’t realize how much she was doing for other people,” Muccio said. “She would wake up in the morning and not come back until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. at night because she was always doing something to help someone else.”
Her said that the street naming was a great honor, and that he was “so proud to be called her husband.”
“She always made time for me,” said her husband, adding “she was my best friend and buddy, and tough as nails too.”
Muccio said that Michele was his lifelong sweetheart. They met when she was 14 and he was 15. They were together for 30 years and married for 22 years, he said.
DiPierro knew both Muccios since they were teenagers, and approached the family and councilman shortly after her passing with the plan for a street co-naming, he said.
“I felt that for she deserved this honor for all of the volunteer work she put into this community, especially at the St. Theresa School community for so many years,” said DiPierro, adding that he believes it to be the perfect honor and something that would be an everlasting tribute.
She is also survived by two other daughters, Francesca and Daniela.