ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – Lucy Cunniff left us on August 11, 2021. She was born in Jersey City, NJ, the ninth child of Dr. Charles and Margaret Mary (Norton) Cunniff, who predeceased her. She was a really cute kid, and a natural gymnast as a child. She attended the Academy of St. Aloysius for 12 years and graduated magna cum laude from Kean College with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy in 1989. In her therapeutic work she was dedicated to the ideal of helping her patients thrive by using her prodigious technical skills and ingenuity to create inventive, hand-made tools.
She began her career at Overlook Hospital in Summit and, as a senior therapist, received their Applaud award for outstanding service to the hospital. Most recently, she cared for patients at CareOne King James, Atlantic Highlands. She was an intrepid and adventurous spirit, which led her to the West Coast as a traveling therapist in Aberdeen, WA and Clearlake, CA. She was a kidney transplant recipient and had multiple joint replacement surgeries; as a professional, she developed total joint replacement clinical path protocols.
She had a wonderful sense of humor, was a charming conversationalist, champion decorative cake baker, expert crocheter, quiller and avid puzzler. She loved chocolate martinis and fried clams, and filled her home with candlelight on the feast of St. Lucy who, legend has it, brought food and aid to the suffering, wearing a candlelit wreath to light her way. That was Lucy: Helping, guiding, solving, healing, loving. In Lucy’s own words, in her appeal for acceptance to graduate school: “I feel that if I can change just one person’s life, I will be a success.”
She is survived by her siblings Mary Rawlinson, James (Betty Lou), Catherine, Nancy Casey (Patrick), Charles (Sarah), David (Anne Marie), Molly and Stephen; her nieces, Kate Fishburne, Meghan Ferone, Margaret Mary Cunniff, Aurora and Willa Cox-Hultquist; her nephews, Brian Cunniff, Raphael Cunniff, Michael Pearson and Nicholas Cox-Hultquist; ten great nieces and nephews, and many, many dear friends and admirers.
A Memorial Gathering will be held at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ on Tuesday, August 17th from 4-7pm. Interment will be private. Facial masks are required to be worn.