Patricia Nichols Curcuru of Southold, known as “The Coke Lady,” died Dec. 31 2018. She was 97.
Born in August 1921 to George Nichols and Marie Howell, “Pat” grew up in Highland Falls, New York with her sister Penny. Years after the death of her mother Marie, her father remarried and had two daughters, Nancy and Georgia. The four sisters kept in close touch their whole lives and planned family reunions later as the “Golden Girls.”
Growing up as a banker’s daughter, Pat learned the value of hard work and investing money at an early age. She worked summers at First National Bank of Highland Falls, working her way up to teller, as well as many other jobs. She tracked her pay carefully, and started investing in stocks at an early age, including her beloved Coca-Cola company. Pat started balancing her checkbook daily, a habit she kept up throughout every day of her life.
Attending the College of William and Mary for her undergraduate degree, she was a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, as were her mother and grandmother. She continued her education and sorority work at Syracuse University with a master’s in mathematics.
She married her Highland Falls sweetheart Edmond Curcuru shortly before he departed for the European theatre of World War II. Their first child, Steven, was born while Edmond served with the 101st Airborne division in France and Belgium.
Patricia and Edmond moved frequently for Edmond’s management jobs after the war, while she did seasonal work as a tax preparer for H&R Block and worked as a part-time real estate agent. They enjoyed traveling the world, especially to warm beaches.
Along with her gregarious personality, having a story for everyone and every situation, Patricia continued her lifelong love affair with Coca-Cola. From drinking her daily Coke to collecting reproduction and historical Coke trays, posters, and even several working refrigerated Coca-Cola coolers, she was known as “The Coke Lady.”
Patricia called several places home in his life, including Palm Springs, Florida; Weston, Connecticut; Longboat Key, Florida and especially Southold, where she loved swimming in the bay and watching the sunset over the waves on the beach.
Patricia is survived by her sons Kevin H. Curcuru and Kim M. Curcuru; grandchildren, Shane, Emily, Julie and Todd and four great-grandchildren. Services will be held later this summer in Southold at the family plot.
DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home assisted the family