Obituary of Paula Del Guercio
Paula Marie Helene Del Guercio died peacefully at her home surrounded by loved ones on Sunday January 21, 2024. She was born at the American Hospital in Paris on September 9, 1930, to the Count and Countess Guy Marie de Vautibault. Her mother, Constance (nee Garrison), was born in Tuxedo Park, NY and raised in France. Paula’s father was a decorated officer in the French Calvary during the First World War.
She spent her early childhood among many aunts, uncles and cousins - her father was the eldest of 12 children - at the family chateau, Chene de Coeur, in Le Mans, France. She and her mother left for America in 1940 after the Nazi invasion. Not speaking a word of English when she arrived in New York City, they moved into a small apartment until the end of the war with her maternal grandmother, aunt and cousin. She attended the Holy Child School in Suffern, graduated high school from the Gunston School in Maryland and went on to attend Briarcliff College where she earned the affectionate nickname Putt-Putt. She completed a degree in nursing at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.
Paula returned to New York City to live in a 5 story walk up with 4 other young women and a pet skunk named Arpege. She became an Occupational Therapist on the Pediatric ward at New York Presbyterian Hospital. On one occasion, she and a colleague waited until the end of the day to hide in a closet to catch the scoundrel who had been playing with the toy trains at night and leaving them wrecked in the morning. A dashing surgical resident named Lou was caught red-handed and a month later they were engaged! They married 3 years later and moved to Larchmont in 1960 where they realized the surgeon’s dream of a perfectly symmetrical family – 4 girls and 4 boys followed by 9 granddaughters and 9 grandsons and 2 great grandsons (more work to be done here). To add some mess to the mingle, any extra space in the house was taken up by a menagerie of domestic and rescued wild animals that included multiple raccoons, a goat, a Canada Goose, many faithful dogs and an infinite number of cats and kittens, just to name a few.
Paula was unflappable and thrived in chaos – she was never happier than when the house on Pryer Lane was full to the brim with people and pets. All the free time she had after caring for her family (Paula lived in a special world with 30 hours in a day) was devoted to the service of her community: St. Augustine’s Church, the Larchmont Beautification Committee, various Scout leader positions, the PTA, SEPTA, the Westchester Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution and, the development of the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, among many others.
She treasured her time with her many friends and reveled in their adventures together- trips to Jones Beach, Fire Island, the Belmont Racetracks, time at Manor Beach and the Larchmont Yacht Club. She enjoyed playing tennis, paddle and bridge. She was also the unofficial welcoming committee to the many French families that moved to Larchmont over the years.
Paula, a magnificent cook, was known all over Larchmont for her fabulous parties where Moet et Chandon was always a set part of any menu! For over 20 years, they hosted a 300-guest 4th of July BBQ including friends, neighbors and all of Lou's surgical residents. A typical holiday at the house had 35 people for a sit-down dinner around her dining room table.
Paula and Lou, who were married for 56 years, were avid travelers and came back with stories from all over the world – Europe, Russia, India, Egypt, South America and many more.
Above all, Paula will be remembered for her quiet strength and warm, caring demeanor. She was kind to everyone: her family, friends and the stranger on the corner.
She is pre-deceased by her husband Dr. Louis R.M. Del Guercio and survived by her children: Gino (Carolyn), Francesca Monro (Bob), Paul (Marianne), Catherine (Luc Gregoire), Maria Stanton (Greg), Michelle (Mark Ferri), Christopher (Berit) and Anthony (Magan), her grandchildren: Benjamin (Ashley), Michelle Estime (Daniel), JJ, Isobella, Julia, Luke, Nina, Ian, Nico, Michael, Christopher, Kaitlin, Sophia Paula, Brady, Louis, Cara, Angelo and Giana, and her great grandchildren, Theo and Ezra, her niece Genie Juliano (Gerard and their son, Joe) and her nephew Richard Lorenti (Andrew Flatt).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Paula's memory to the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force - online at www.lmfoodpantry.org or checks can be mailed to the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force, PO Box 112, Larchmont, NY 10538.
Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force
Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force P.O.Box 112 Larchmont, NY 10538 (914) 698-3558 info@LMfoodpantry.org www.lmfoodpantry.org
Paula's family will receive friends at the
John J. Fox Funeral Home, Inc.
2080 Boston Post Road Larchmont, NY 10538
on Wednesday January 24th from 4:00PM until 8:00PM.
Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday 12 Noon at
St. Augustine Church 18 Cherry Ave. Larchmont, NY 10538