Anyone who knows the Cusato family knows of all the hours of volunteer service Paul has put in over the years for many organizations including the Mineola Fire Department, Mineola Athletic Association, Mineola High School Alumni Foundation and Mineola Village Board of Trustees. Always by his side was his wife Kathleen.
Kathleen will still be by his side, only she will do it from Heaven. Kathleen Cusato died on January 12, 2009 in her home in Mineola after a long battle with cancer.
Kathleen and Paul have raised a wonderful family with two daughters - Nicole and Kristin - and two sons, Steven and David.
Kathleen Hickey and Paul Cusato grew up as next-door neighbors in Mineola and attended Mineola High School together, with Katheen graduating in 1965 and Paul graduating in 1966. Paul knew that he was meant to be with the girl next-door. The two were even born only a month apart in 1948.
"I saw her face and I just knew that she was the one," Paul said.
Through their 36 years of marriage, the couple made their home in the community they loved and became active in some of the Mineola organizations where they made many friends. "Our house was like an open house. People could come here and if they ever had an issue with anything, they could come and talk to Kathy," said Paul. "All these kids who came when they were young all came the last month to say hi and goodbye. It was a great tribute. I feel so good for Kathy that so many people responded to her spirit and what she meant to so many people."
Kathleen Cusato is also survived by her sister Maureen Heath and brothers James, Thomas and Sean Hickey.
The family asks that any memorials be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or the Ronald McDonald House.
Joan Hanley, age 78, died at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas, NV, on Jan. 12, 2009 following a courageous battle recovering from heart surgery. She was born on May 28, 1930 in the town of Mineola to the late Christopher and Anna Dunphy. On April 15, 1948, Joan was united in marriage to the love of her life, Raymond Hanley.
Joan is joining her beloved husband, Raymond Hanley, who passed away in November 1992. Joan is survived by her three wonderful children; Michael, Maureen, and Matthew; her son-in-law Gene; her daughter-in-law Linda; as well as her grandchildren, Angela, Alexander, Christopher, Elizabeth, Lauren and Forest.
Joan spent the majority of her life in Mineola where she raised her family. She and her husband, Ray, retired to Las Vegas in 1987. A dedicated Catholic, Joan was active in the Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas helping to bake the communion bread and ironing the linens. She was also active in the Rosary Society, St. Jude Society and the Irish-American Society. A world traveler, Joan loved exploring new countries and cultures. She traveled extensively with her family and on Elderhostel tours to Ireland, Russia, Italy, England, France, New Zealand and Canada.
Joan loved to cook and made the best ham salad and lasagna around. Her house was always ready for company and clean enough for a magazine photo shoot. She would never leave a dish in the sink for more than an hour and made sure that your bed was made even before you fully got out of it. Ironing and laundry could be considered hobbies of Joan's because she enjoyed them so much. Joan was a dedicated grandmother and would fly across the country to visit her grandchildren in Alaska and New York for Grandparents Day, birthdays or just because you asked her to. Her laugh and bright blue eyes could light up any room.
Funeral Mass and viewing were held at Christ the King Catholic Church, Las Vegas, Father Bill Kenney officiating. In lieu of flowers, Joan's family kindly asks for donations to the St. Jude Society. The easiest way to donate is online at www.stjude.org/donate.