On January 17, 2024, Denise Mary Siracusa passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family, after a nearly three-year battle with cancer.
Denise was born on November 21, 1959 to Betty and the late Fred Barbagallo in the Bronx, where she resided all of her life. She leaves behind her husband and best friend of 37 years, Michael. Denise is survived by her daughters, Jacqueline LoPresti and Victoria Russo, along with her two “bonus children”, their husbands’, Peter and Giovanni. She is also survived by her mother Betty and brother Robert. Most importantly, she leaves behind her “grand-pup”, Milo, whom she often referred to as her therapy dog during her ongoing cancer battle.
Denise grew up in the Morris Park section of the Bronx, and always loved its close-knit community. She was destined for a bright future, having completed high school in only three years and was accepted into Fordham University at the age of sixteen. Always having an eye for design, she was recruited to work for many fashion companies, including Lord & Taylor, Frederick Atkins, and Miriam Haskell Jewelers.
She met the love of her life on August 17, 1985, on a blind date and the two wed on November 30, 1986. Their union resulted in the creation of a loving family with their two beautiful daughters. Denise was fortunate enough to buy the house next-door to her childhood home, and adored being able to spend time with her parents every day.
With her family being the most important gift in her life, she made the decision to leave the fashion industry and joined the NYC Department of Education to maximize the time spend raising her daughters. There, she worked selflessly for 20 years alongside children with autism and treated each of them as her own.
Denise was a social butterfly and devoted friend. She cherished her friendships, both old and new, with some as long as 58 years. No matter the length of time, if Denise was your friend, you had a friend for life.
Undoubtedly, one of her best-known characteristics was her fighting spirit, which became even more apparent during her cancer battle. Denise was a devout Catholic and never let her faith waiver, even up until the very end.
She is missed dearly, however there is solace knowing that Heaven gained a beautiful angel. We know she will forever be looking down on us from an endless beach- mojito in hand, listening to her favorite Motown songs.
Denise’s family is beyond grateful for the ongoing love and support that has been shown to them throughout these past three years. To help bring awareness to the hardships that cancer causes, the American Cancer Society has created a donation page in honor of Denise. If you would like to contribute, please click the following link
The family will be present on Thursday, January 25th, 2024 & Friday, January 26th, 2024 from 4-8 PM at Ruggiero & Sons, Inc. Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 732 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, New York 10704. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 AM on Saturday, January 27th, 2024 at Saint Frances Xavier Church, 1703 Lurting Avenue- Bronx, New York 10461. Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 10 W Stevens Avenue in Hawthorne, New York 10532.