Patricia Nichols Curcuru, a.k.a. “The Coke Lady,” age 97, passed away peacefully in her sleep at a local Long Island hospital Dec. 31, 2018, from old age.
Born in August 1921, Patricia, or “Pat,” grew up in Highland Falls, N.Y. She and her sister Penny were the daughters of George Nichols and Marie Howell. Years after the early death of Pat’s mother Marie, George remarried and had two more 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 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 throughout 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 married her Highland Falls sweetheart, Edmond Curcuru, shortly before he departed for the European theater in World War II as an officer fresh from West Point. Their first child, Steven, was born while Edmond was leading 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 a part-time real estate agent. They enjoyed traveling the world around, especially to any place with warm 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, Fla., Weston, Conn., Longboat Key, Fla. and especially Southold, N.Y., where she loved swimming in the bay and watching the sunset over the waves on the beach.
Patricia is survived by her remaining sons Kevin H. and Kim M. Curcuru; her grandchildren, Shane, Emily, Julie and Todd Curcuru; and her great-grandchildren, Roxanne Curcuru, Arin Mcgilvray and Alistair and Ariana Dreher.
Services will be held later this summer in Southold at the family plot.
DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold assisted the family.
This is a paid notice.