Michael Cutillo

Obituary of Michael Cutillo

GENEVA — Michael Cutillo, 91, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Geneva Living Center North on Monday, July 18, 2022, rejoining his wife Sylvia, his brother Enzo, his parents and many more beloved friends and family members. Friends may call from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 23 at the Palmisano-Mull Funeral Home, 28 Genesee St., Geneva. Father Thomas Mull will conduct a prayer service at noon, which will be followed by interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery, County Road 6, Geneva. Contributions may be directed to the Geneva Fire Dept., 47 Castle St., Geneva, NY, 14456 or Finger Lakes Ambulance, 63 Pulteney St., Geneva, NY, 14456. Michael was born on May 8, 1931, a son of Luigi Adolfo and Teresa (Ereditario) Cutillo in San Salvatore Telesino, Italy. He had a simple but wonderful life growing up – kicking soccer balls, eating chestnuts and working on the family farm. He befriended U.S. GI Joes who were stationed near his village during World War II, and though he couldn’t speak the language (other than to greet them all with “Hello, Joe”) he traded onions and cigarettes with them for soccer balls and volleyballs. Later, he served in the Italian Army as a radio operator on the island of Sardinia. Michael had no intention of ever leaving Italy until he met Paulina Sylvia Tucci, an 18-year-old Italian-American girl whose grandmother was from his village. The two started a courtship via letters – Michael writing to her in Italian and Sylvia having them translated into English, Sylvia writing back in English and Michael getting them translated into Italian. Through those letters, they decided to get married, and Michael came to the U.S. with his new bride in 1958. With four children soon on the way – beginning in 1960 – he quickly learned English, though his trials and tribulations with the language were humorous stuff of family legend, and tried a number of jobs before becoming a machine operator, welder, and steel cutter for Syracuse Tank Co. where he worked for 40 years while also attending to his other passions – making wine and homemade macaroni, cooking his signature dish of pork and peppers, gardening, playing bocce and playing, coaching and watching soccer, which he had played semi-professionally in Italy. Just as he taught himself English, he also learned carpentry and building skills and for a hobby, built and remodeled a number of houses. Michael loved his family with all his heart and soul – and that family included hundreds of friends on both sides of the Atlantic. He made more than 50 trips back to Italy and was fond of saying that he had the true pleasure of living in the greatest country in the world (the U.S.) while being born in the second greatest country (Italy). The last three years of his life he lived with his son and daughter-in-law in Geneva, spinning an untold number of tales in his heavy accent at their dining room table, entertaining numerous gatherings by singing Italian and American songs (It’s A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, Dominick the Donkey and That’s Amore, among his favorites) and just generally spreading his special brand of joy, love of life and great spirit. If you met him, you instantly and automatically were counted among his friends. The world has been and is filled with great people, and Dad … Poppa … Pop … Grandpa … Uncle Mike … Coach … Friend … Paisan … you were among the very best and will be forever missed and remembered fondly. He is survived by his children, Michael J. (Jan) Cutillo of Geneva; Terasa (David) Mott of Dunedin, Florida; Lisa Houghton of New York, New Jersey; and Jennifer (Bonnie) Cutillo of Bridgeport, N.Y.; granddaughters Kristine (Juan) Cutillo in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Lexi Houghton in New York City; sister-in-law Rita Cutillo in Caserta, Italy; niece Anna (Angelo Gentile) Cutillo in Caserta, Italy; and nephew Pierluigi (Tiziana) Cutillo, chief of police in Zagarolo, Italy; as well several nieces, nephews, cousins and countless life-long friends around the world. Michael was predeceased by his beloved wife Sylvia, his parents, his brother Vincenzo, who retired as a general in the Italian Army, and dozens of friends and family members in Italy and in America. The family would like to acknowledge and thank the staff under the direction of Hilda McNicholas at the Geneva Living Center North for their care and concern in the last three months of Dad’s life.
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Saturday
23
July

Visitation at Funeral Home

9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Palmisano-Mull Funeral Home LLC
28 Genesee St.
Geneva, New York, United States
Saturday
23
July

Funeral Service

12:00 pm
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Palmisano-Mull Funeral Home LLC
28 Genesee St.
Geneva, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

St. Mary's Cemetery
2848 County Road 6
Geneva, New York, United States
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