The Rev. Thomas Fenlon Jr. (1935-2023)
The Rev. Thomas Bolger Fenlon Jr., 87, a former priest at St. John the Evangelist Church in Beacon, died March 20 at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx.
Born Oct. 1, 1935, he was the son of Thomas and Juliet (Ludford) Fenlon and grew up in Pelham. He became a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1961 after studying at Cathedral High and St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoody) in New York, and St. Jerome College in Ontario, Canada.
Father Fenlon filled positions as associate priest and as pastor of many churches in the New York area, including St. John the Evangelist and St. Mary’s in Newburgh.
He studied abroad in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and also in Louvain, Belgium, and earned master’s degrees in several areas of study, focusing always on social justice. He was a volunteer as a Witness for Peace in 1985 in Nicaragua. Thomas was instrumental in rehabilitating an abandoned building to create housing in a program in the 1990s and worked with other pastors and ministers in social justice endeavors.
In 1965, he participated in the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, saying, “It opened my eyes to injustice. I wanted to do something about civil rights.”
Father Fenlon loved traveling, sailing, walking and the people of New York City, and was a beloved figure to parishioners as well as to others in his neighborhoods. His compassion, generosity and ability to gather people together were his great strengths, his family said.
His survived by his sisters: Mary Ann Knowles, Juliet Nagle (Frederick) and Lois Brinkman (Michael).
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Saturday (March 25) at the Resurrection Catholic Chapel in Harlem, followed by interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in New Rochelle. Memorial donations may be made to Catholic Relief Services (crs.org).
Kimberly Panzarino (1965-2023)
Kimberly Lynne Panzarino, 58, died March 16 at MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.
She was born Feb. 2, 1965, in Beacon, the daughter of Terrance and Dolores Wyatt. During her life she pursued her passion of nursing and obtained her LPN degree while raising her three children. She lived her life with a kind heart, a quality which made her an amazing nurse, her family said.
Kimberly loved her three grandchildren tremendously and took much joy in being a grandmother. She loved gardening and always had a truly magical green thumb. For the last nine years, Kimberly lived with Robert “Robbie” Boolukos.
She is survived by her children Amanda (Michael), Dominick and Richard; and her grandsons, Hunter and Owen.
Family and friends gathered March 21 at Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey in Beacon.
Toni Roccio (1925-2023)
Antoinette “Toni” Roccio, 97, formerly of Beacon, died March 16 as at the Ten Broeck Commons Nursing Facility in Kingston.
She was born July 22, 1925, in Highland, the daughter of Ludovico and Maria (Crimi) Indelicato. On Nov. 10, 1946, she married Armond Roccio of Beacon, where she lived until 2010, when she returned to Highland.
Toni had to leave school before age 16 to help support her family during World War II. Her mother taught her to sew, and seamstress work became her profession. She worked in dress shops until her retirement, then continued doing alterations.
She was a person who, if she put her mind to it, could accomplish anything, her family said. She was an excellent cook, baker, writer, gardener and decorator. She sewed all her own clothing, was an immaculate housekeeper and decorated her home beautifully with all her own creations, entertained with delicious meals and homemade pastas, and baked mouth-watering cookies and cakes for the holidays and weddings.
She loved poetry and wrote many poems, publishing a book of her poems and a story of her life, all without the benefit of a higher education. She said having to leave school was one of her major regrets in life. However, in 2002, she and her sisters, Frances and Catherine, were awarded honorary diplomas at the Highland High School graduation.
Toni is survived by her nieces and nephews, including Maryann Herron Hinchey and Catherine Herron Mathews; her sister-in-law, Helene Indelicato; and her close friends, Karen and Joseph O’Dell. Her husband and five siblings died before her.
A memorial service took place on March 21 at the Torsone funeral home in Highland, followed by interment at St. Joachim Cemetery in Beacon. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) or Canine Companions (canine.org).