Dr. Kathleen Pistone Carucci
June 25, 1930 – March 19, 2021
With deepest sorrow, the Board of Directors of the Fine Arts Orchestral Society announces the passing of our dear founder, Dr. Kathleen Pistone Carucci on March 19, 2021 at Lawrence Hospital.
Dr. Kay, a beloved Yonkers native, touched many lives throughout her life as an educator, philanthropist, classical music supporter, animal lover, cherished family member and friend.
In 1962, on their honeymoon in Italy, Conductor / Composer Pasquale A. Pistone and his bride conceived their dreams of establishing the Fine Arts Orchestral Society (FAOS) to fundraise and support the yet to be established Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO) which would provide live, orchestral concerts, free-of-charge, to Yonkers residents.
As founder of the Fine Arts Orchestral Society (FAOS), Dr. Kay dedicated her lifetime to the promotion of the arts. Her vision, commitment and leadership have enriched Yonkers and its surrounding communities for more than 58 years.
Over the years, with the support of Dr. Kay, friends, neighbors and generous grants, FAOS/YPO, now in its 59th year, has continued to thrive. In recognition of Dr. Kay’s dedication and tireless efforts, the Board of Directors of the FAOS, established the Dr. Kathleen Pistone-Carucci Legacy Fund.
Born to Isabel and Thomas Farago on June 25, 1930, Dr. Kathleen Pistone Carucci attended St. Dennis Parochial School and Gorton High School. Dr. Kay, as she is affectionately known, earned her master’s degree in Psychology at Manhattan College and her Ph.D. from Yeshiva University. During her professional career with the Yonkers Public Schools, she was an elementary school teacher; Director of Staff Development; and a member of the Superintendent’s Cabinet. As the Director of Performing Arts, Dr. Carucci was responsible for re-instituting the All-City Band and Choir.
During the early 1970’s Mayor Alfred DelBello appointed Dr. Kay to coordinate music and art festivals throughout Yonkers. She later served as Trustee for the Department of Parks. After that, she served as a volunteer with Mayor Martinelli as chairperson of “Square Under the Stars”; was responsible for organizing musical programs in order to generate interest in downtown Yonkers; and also initiated and organized the highly successful outdoor concerts at the Yonkers Cross County Shopping Center.
As chairperson of the Mayor’s Community Relations Committee, Dr. Carucci was involved in the re-institution of the “Christmas Tree Lighting”, a popular Yonkers tradition. She also worked closely with Senator Flynn in presenting concerts at the Hudson River Museum and Marina. May 15, 1987 was declared “Kathleen Pistone Day” by the Mayor and City Council of Yonkers.
Dr. Kay was, also, a member of the Columbus Day Committee and inducted into the Westchester County Hall of Fame. She has been recognized by many organizations including PTAs, the American Committee on Italian Migration, and the East Yonkers Rotary Club. Dr. Kay was on the Sacred Heart Church Advisory Council and Chairperson of Leadership Training Program for (YEFI) Senior Citizens in Yonkers as well as a Board member of the Beczak Environmental Educational Center.
Dr. Carucci also completed a Spiritual Development program in Westchester, trained in Bereavement at the Archdiocese of New York and was affiliated with the Thanatology Department of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. In addition to being a Bereavement Specialist, she was also a Pastoral Counselor.
Dr. Carucci was chairperson of the Enrico Fermi Scholarship Breakfast and initiated the Fine Arts “Pistone Music Scholarship Award” (now expanded into FAOS’ Young Artist Concerto Competition). Over the past 58 years, Dr. Carucci has served as an officer and now as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Fine Arts Orchestral Society of Yonkers.
In addition to Dr. Kay’s love for music, she was an avid animal lover, having treasured pets all her life. When she learned that the existing Yonkers Animal Center was in disrepair, she joined a group of like-minded citizens to raise funds for a new facility. As President of the Building Hope for the New Yonkers Animal Shelter, she successfully provided a new, state-of-the-art Animal Shelter in Yonkers.
Throughout her adult life, Dr. Kathleen Pistone-Carucci has been a fine example of a “Professional Volunteer.” Dr. Kay will be missed by a host of loving friends and family, but her legacy of Music, as well as her love for animals and for her city of Yonkers, will speak for her now and forever.