Lucy Regina Cesa, surrounded by family, died peacefully on Friday May 7, 2021. She was born in the “Little Italy” section of the Bronx, NY on June 5, 1923 to Luigi and Paolina Cesa. She is survived by her son Alfred Guerra, her nieces Elenore Cora Ross and Emmarose Guerra.
In the last years of her life she was cared for at home by her son, loving daughter-in-law Mary Alice Swatt and Mary’s sister Katherine Swatt. Mary and Kathy were instrumental in providing Lucy with both personal and professional care, as well as, spending many hours doing jig saw puzzles, playing cards and watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies which Lucy loved.
Lucy was fluent in English and Italian and during the wartime period of the 1940’s she was hired by the US government as a translator to review letters, correspondence and documents that were sent from Italy by soldiers and others to insure that no sensitive information was being transmitted.
Lucy met John Guerra while socializing at the local Italian club on Fordham Road. Lucy married John and had two sons, Alfred in 1947 and Richard in 1949. The family moved to the New Jersey Shore town of Long Branch in 1951 where John worked as a tile contractor. After the children began attending school Lucy worked as an administrative assistant in a bank and then as one in the school system in order to insure that both sons could have a college education. Both sons attended Catholic University of America in Washington DC and graduated.
Lucy’s mother Paolina was a meticulous seamstress employed by the fashion designer Oleg Cassini who created dresses for Jackie Kennedy. Lucy was fond of recalling how her mother would take one of Jackie’s dress patterns and sew my mother a duplicate. My mother reveled in recalling how she would be wearing a Jackie Kennedy dress before Jackie did.
Lucy and John subsequently moved to Southern Florida after her sons graduated from college in the early 70’s. There they worked for a few years, John in tile work and Lucy in an ophthalmologist’s office. Lucy also volunteered to help and mentor mentally challenged children as well as contributing to many, many charities. They retired a few years later and traveled and cruised as much as possible. John died in 1986 and Lucy was remarried a few years later to Paul MacAnaney, a retired auto parts retailer and a kind and caring man. They had many good years together in the West Palm Beach area. Paul died in 2001 and Lucy began to divide her time living in Florida and visiting Alfred in Albany NY.
After Paul’s death Lucy chose to return to her maiden name of Cesa. As she grew older, she began to develop signs of dementia and agreed to move to the Albany-Saratoga area where she could be looked after by her son and daughter-in-law. Subsequent for having to be in a nursing home for recuperation and therapy due to a fall, she was moved to her son’s home in November of 2019 to be cared for.
She was a good and caring person and everyone who met and knew her loved her personality, smile and charm. We will miss her dearly, but believe that she is with her loved ones in heaven.