Eleanor Forcucci, a Sag Harbor native who was born and raised in little white house at the foot of Howard Street, died early Friday morning, November 16.
Eleanor was the salutatorian of the Pierson High School Class of 1937 and became an accomplished violinist. She went off to Brooklyn State Hospital Nursing School where she met her husband, Stanley Murphy. The couple raised three children: Stanley Jr., Phyllis Howell of Brooklyn, and Henry “Rick” Murphy of East Hampton. Eleanor’s husband and son, Stanley, predeceased her.
Stanley Murphy, who earned a doctorate in Nursing Administration from St. John’s University, eventually became the Director of Nursing at Brooklyn State. After the couple’s children graduated elementary school, Eleanor went back to school as well and earned her master’s degree in nursing from St. Francis College. She worked at several prominent medical facilities and was the head nurse in the emergency room of Coney Island Hospital. Later she served as a nurse in the New York City school system, did home health visits, and was a supervisor at private nursing homes.
A devout Catholic, she was instrumental in the planning and building of St. Columba’s Church in her Brooklyn neighborhood.
Although Eleanor traveled extensively after retirement, her first love was her family. In addition to her children, she leaves three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Eleanor was noted for her good health and energy. Until she broke her hip — dancing at age 95 — she was vibrant and healthy. Even then, she sped through her rehab, the therapist using her as an example to prod the younger patients. On a recent birthday, she was given a violin. She opened the gift and played several musical interludes and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” despite the fact she hadn’t played the instrument in almost 80 years.
She was fascinated by politics, thoroughly enjoying the Trump-fed turmoil that has monopolized the news of late. She worked an iPod seamlessly and exchanged messages and photos with friends and family. She loved to Google songs from her favorite artists and sing along with them.
She died in her own bed a few days after announcing she was ready.
She will be buried beside her family members at St. Andrew Cemetery in Sag Harbor in the spring.