Lucia Boletti Gagliardo died on October 16, at Menorah Hospice in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, after a short battle with cancer. She was 52.
Ms. Gagliardo was born on April 26, 1963, in East New York, Brooklyn. The family returned to Italy when she was two, before returning to the United States for good, three years later, and she started school not knowing a word of English.
After graduating from Franklin K. Lane High School in 1981, Ms. Gagliardo earned an associate’s degree from Fiorello LaGuardia Community College and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from New York College of the City University of New York. Both degrees were majors in occupational therapy. In her forties, she went back to school to earn a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy in 2012 from Rocky Mountain University. Over the years, she attended many educational conferences and gave presentations at numerous seminars.
Ms. Gagliardo was a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Neurodevelopmental Treatment Association (NDTA). From 2010 to 2013, she served on the NDTA board of directors and its finance committee. At the time of her death, she was supervisor of pediatric rehabilitation, adult hand therapy and adult outpatient services at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
On December 10, 2005, she married Gregory Gagliardo of Southampton at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Ozone Park. They are both members of the Basilica of Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary in Southampton.
Ms. Gagliardo traveled the world, including southeast Asia, Greece, Turkey, Kenya, and Iceland and all through Europe, among other places. She enjoyed cruises, many to the Caribbean and one to Alaska.
A city girl at heart, survivors said she loved exploring the nooks and crannies of New York City. She loved museums, restaurants and Broadway shows. She could never understand how anyone could see anything in Southampton at night, saying, “there are no lights!”
Survivors said her true passion was helping children as a pediatric therapist. She had a gift with children, according to parents and co-workers. Her tenderness and patience with worried parents and the time she took to teach and mentor younger therapists was legendary.
Ms. Gagliardo is survived by her husband, Gregory Gagliardo of Southampton; a brother, Enrico Boletti of Howard Beach; an aunt, Angelina Cavanna of East New York, and many cousins. She was predeceased by her parents, Secondo Boletti and Caterina Cavanna Boletti, immigrants from Piacenza, Italy.
A continuing education fund for pediatric therapists has been set up in her name at New York Presbyterian. Donations may be made out to New York Presbyterian Fund Inc. and mailed to NYP Development Office, 525 East 68th St., P.O. Box 123, N.Y., N.Y. 10065. Donors should indicate the gifts are in memory of Lucia Boletti.