Gaspare Cuccia, Sr
Gaspare Cuccia, Sr. from Bethlehem, Connecticut passed away on July 28, 2023. Known by most as Pop, Poppy or Gus, he was a man who left a giant impact on the world.
He was born & raised in Brooklyn, New York to Dominick & Catherine (Maggio) Cuccia in 1943. As a child he had a love for trains which was a prelude of things to come in his life. In 1960, he graduated high school and enlisted in the United States Army. He was stationed in Berlin, Germany for his entire tour of duty as an engineer. Upon being discharged he worked a variety of jobs before his dreams came true. In 1966, he married the love of his life, Deborah Jordan and soon after began working as a motorman for the New York City Transit Authority. In 1967, their first of 6 children were born.
In the early 1970’s, they moved to Carmel, New York and in 1979 moved to Dover Plains, New York. As his children & Debbie got involved in the Young Colonials Fife & Drum Corps, it became one of his passions as well. He was the director of the Young Colonials for 12 years, played fife with OH Booth Hose from Poughkeepsie, NY, the Germantown Ancients from Danbury, Connecticut & The Civil War Troopers from Newburgh, New York. He was the announcer/muster master for every Young Colonials Muster since its inception in 1987. Upon his retirement from the railroad as a dispatcher, Gus went to the dark side and learned to play rudimental bass drum, performing with Westbrook Drum Corps and his buddies, Dodie & Chuck McGrath. In 1996, he organized, became director of, and played bass drum with The Regulators Fife & Drum Corps from Dover Plains.
The 1990’s & 2000’s witnessed his family grow to epic proportions. His children all got married, produced 19 grandchildren, and Gus became known as Poppy or Pop. Obviously, this sizable family was where Gus’s Gang & Grammy & Poppy’s Gang had their origin, with all of the family marching together at a variety of events throughout the years!
In 2009, Gus & Debbie moved to Bethlehem, Connecticut, where he lived until his final breath. Gaspare Cuccia Sr. is predeceased by his parents, Dominick & Catherine Cuccia, his brother Santo Cuccia, his son-in-law Alan Cavallo & “son” William J. Dillon. He is survived by his wife, Debbie Cuccia, sisters Anna Affrunti & Mary Papillo, his brother Dominick Cuccia, his children Dominick Cuccia & his wife Therese, Catherine Cavallo, Gaspare “Gus” Cuccia, Jr. & his wife Traci, Deborah Malli & her husband Jason, Nicholas Cuccia & his wife Tracey, Joseph Cuccia & his wife Kristine, and William’s wife Sarah Dillon, along with his grandchildren, Isabelle Cavallo, Maria Cuccia, Elizabeth (Liz) Cuccia, Catherine Malli, Grace Cuccia, Sophia Malli, Matthew Cuccia, Dominick Cuccia, Jr., Shannon Cuccia, Jason Malli, Johanna Cuccia, John Paul Cuccia, Miles Malli, Alexandra (Alex) Cuccia, Therese (Tess) Cuccia, Francis Cuccia, Kristopher Cuccia, Michael Cuccia & Liam Dillon.
As Poppy would always say, “I’ll see ya when I see ya.”
Over this past year, Poppy hasn’t been able to be himself and had been in and out of the hospital, but one of the last big events he attended was the 2022 Westbrook Muster. Upon his passing this week, a number of people mentioned how memorable it was catching up with Grammy & Poppy last year at Westbrook and how grateful they were to have had that opportunity.