Thursday, June 05, 2014


It is with deep sadness that I write tonight. I found out earlier that the world has lost one of the most wonderful people around, particularly within the education and UFT world, with the passing of Loretta Elinor Prisco. 
I met Loretta through ICE and we became friends.  She and her late husband Gene truly are role models for my wife Camille and me.  Camille and I often talk about how Gene and Loretta Prisco proved that you can be active in politics, the union and education but you do not have to sacrifice your family life or your integrity.  They were truly inspirational people.
I remember an ICE meeting in the summer of 2012 when there was some kind of MORE forum afterwards and it was a beautiful day.  Loretta and I didn't want to hop on the subway on such a sunny day so we walked through downtown Manhattan to get to the second event.  That was one of many occasions where I was fortunate enough to pick her brain on topics from childcare to dealing with difficult principals.  
Camille and I sometimes tend to view the union and education spheres in almost a kind of good versus evil way so it is important for us to be able to talk to people like Loretta who had such an open mind and could always find room for some optimism.  We saw her when she was ill and still she was so positive in her outlook.
She will be missed in so many ways.  Below is what was sent to us via Norm Scott from Loretta's daughter.
With a heart broken open with love, I let my community know that my mother, Loretta Elinor Prisco, transitioned to spirit side last evening. She was full of grace, light, intelligence, and a deep sense of justice. She taught me to see situations from multiple angles, and to consider others' points of view. She courageously chose life, while simultaneously grieving and facing a painful and difficult illness. She was taking photos of the flowers outside even at the end of her life.

For those who are able to attend, her wake will be Friday June 6, from 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm at
Harmon Funeral Home on Staten Island, with a mass on Saturday June 7 at Our Lady of Good Counsel on Staten Island (Harmon's has the address), burial to follow at Moravian Cemetery.

I think her and Gene are on a wonderful Celestial Cruise Ship, and I wish them the smoothest of seas and the happiest of voyages.
Thank you for your love and support during this long and difficult season. I would not be functioning without it.

With love,


Michael Fiorillo said...

Loretta and gene were both such wonderful people: warm, wise, stalwart, and as you say James, inspirational in so many ways.

Such a loss for us and for the world...

Joan Heymont said...

Loretta worked at Pace University for a few years helping train and mentor new teachers. Even though her experience was in elementary schools, she worked with those new teachers in high school.I remember her visits to my school fondly, where we discussed their work, the state of the union, and the state of my school. I always looked forward to her times in the building.

Gladys Sotomayor said...

My deepest condolences