Carol A. Porcino of Johnson City, NY passed away Sunday, November 13th after a courageous decades-long battle with the auto-immune disease scleroderma. She is survived by her husband Martin P. Porcino, father Donald Puglisi and sisters Sue (Bob) Pastor, Brenda Schaar and Lori (John) Flynn. Also brother in law Matthew J. Porcino and sisters in law Victoria (Tom) Douglas, Bernadette (Brian) O’Hara and Maria (Michael) Rapazzo. She is also survived by numerous cousins as well as nieces and nephews she loved very much: Scott (Sarah) Scharr, Rob Pastor, Nick Pastor, Connor (Ashley) Flynn, Donovan (Natalie) Flynn, Evan Flynn, Caitlyn O’Hara, Connor O’Hara, Peter Rapazzo, Alice Rapazzo and Joe Rapazzo.
Carol grew up on Nassau Street in Johnson City, adjacent to Johnson Field where The Minor League Binghamton Triplets played. She had an idyllic childhood, playing with the many neighborhood kids on the streets and frolicking in the nearby massive CFJ pool. Her school days were most noteworthy for the lifelong friends she made, the core of which (Donna Zajac, Diane Leskow, Chris Caughell, Neva Miller) remains tight till today. She was a cheerleader at JCHS, unwittingly cheering against her future husband, whenever the Wildcats tangled with the BNHS Indians in football and basketball. Her senior class voted her “prettiest girl” and that same year the school elected her Homecoming Queen, where her escort for the ceremony was friend, and future State Senator, Thomas Libous.
Carol then attended Broome Tech. followed by Marywood College where she met Renee Dech, Sol Lopez, Mary Fusco, Sister Mary Karalis, Mary Virok, and Chris Talarico before embarking on a 38-year elementary school career. She forged many new lifelong friendships including Dave Sine, Dina Harting, Eileen Ennis and Nikki Sine, herself a 40-year veteran elementary teacher who said “Carol’s students were so lucky to have such a passionate teacher. Her patience was incredible.” She married in 1982 and moved into a home that had been her “dream house” as a young girl. A son soon followed in 1985 and she spent many happy years transitioning into a neighborhood leader. She enjoyed traveling to Toronto, Baltimore, Cleveland, Thousand Islands as well as two family trips to Disney World and an annual easter vacation in Hilton Head. She enjoyed numerous trips to NYC where she especially loved attending Broadway plays which led her to becoming a Broadway in Binghamton season ticket holder.
She was renowned for how beautifully she kept her home, constantly changing décor to match the seasons. She may be best known, however, for her spectacular Christmas tree exhibits, that annually grace the Roberson Museum (ironically, one of her trees will be displayed this year). Unfortunately, her beautiful life took a negative turn sometime in the 90’s when she somehow found herself in the grips of a disease with no cure, Scleroderma.
Carol was able to keep her symptoms under control for many years until that horrible night 2 years ago when the light of her life, her son Matthew, was found dead of a drug overdose. Six months later to the day her beloved mother, Roberta Puglisi, passed. This two-pronged blow unfortunately devasted Carol and she was never the same after. In later years, another group of friends intervened and did their best to cheer her. Many thanks to the Gorgrants, Cornicks, Fleshers, Guccias, Mary Ann Caruso and Susan Mondolfi, for your love during this most challenging period in her life.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday at 11 am from St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 1 Aquinas St. Binghamton. The Mass will be livestreamed on sta-sp.org, then click on live stream. The family will receive friends at the THOMAS J. SHEA FUNERAL HOME INC. 137 Robinson St. Binghamton on Thursday from 4-6. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Scleroderma Foundation, Tri-State Chapter, 59 Front St., Binghamton, N.Y. 13905.