Lucia Anne Ferrara Obituary

Cohoes, New York

Lucia Anne Ferrara (1954-2012)

After a valiantly fought four-year contest with kidney cancer, Lucia Anne Ferrara came to rest in peace Tuesday, June 5, 2012. She passed with grace under the watchful and caring eyes of St. Peter at his New Scotland Avenue Inn at 57 years old. It is impossible to measure the love she had for her family and friends, which she showed everyday in good times and in bad.

Ferrara was born on August 14, 1954 at Leonard Hospital in Troy, N.Y. She grew up as the daughter of Rufus and Clara Ferrara on the northern boundary of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck, also known as Manor Avenue.

After St. Bernard’s Elementary School, she attended Keveny Memorial Academy. She enjoyed creative writing and her poems were published in the National Anthology of High School Poetry. Her classmates described her in their high school yearbook as a creative, unique and ambitious young woman. “Lucia always seems able to add to any situation with a personality that is distinctly her own,” wrote one of her classmates.

Ferrara was accepted to the College of St. Rose, where she majored in English and graduated summa cum laude. Ferrara loved being a student, had admiration for a high academic standard, and after graduating taught English at Niskayuna High School.

Ferrara received her Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School, where she was a classmate of Andrew Cuomo. She enjoyed commercial and corporate law and excelled at administrative law. After law school, she worked in the legal department of Garden Way Inc. and, after three years, was appointed vice president of the legal department. She was also the confidant of the chief executive officer.

Following seven years at Garden Way, Ferrara began work as an attorney for New York State as the assistant commissioner at the Department of Motor Vehicles, appointed under Gov. George Pataki from 1997 to 2002. She continued to serve the state in the Department of Correctional Services in the counsel’s office, where she worked until retirement in 2011. “She truly loved her work,” says devoted friend and coworker, Neal Schoen. “At both agencies, she exhibited her trademark enthusiasm, determination, dedication and ability to achieve positive results – regardless of the obstacles.” Near retirement, she received the Department of Correctional Service’s Women’s History Month Award.

But perhaps the excellence and passion she devoted to her career could never be surpassed by the love she gave to her family. “She idolized her brother,” says a close friend of the family, Linda Graca, of her older sibling, Ralph Ferrara. “He was her strength. He was her mentor. He was her friend.”

Graca recalls the pride Ferrara felt when her brother, Ralph (also a lawyer), fought his first case in front of the Supreme Court. “That day was the epitome of how happy she was to be his sister.” “Supporting her parents, niece and all of her family were the joys of her life,” Graca says.

In particular, nothing made her happier than celebrating birthdays of family and friends. “One of the things I will always keep is a voicemail from her wishing me happy birthday the day before my birthday,” says Mia Ferrara.

Her faith was also a cornerstone to her life. She was a Eucharistic minister at St. Ambrose Church and taught religious education at St. Ambrose School.

Some of her favorite colors were fuschia, ballerina pink and purple which she brought alive in her garden. “Lucia loved her garden,” says friend Jessica Gracon, who observed that every spring when her hydrangeas, roses, and impatiens sprung up. “Sitting on the deck soaking up the sun was her favorite time.” She brought the scents of her garden into her home, remembers her niece, Mia. “There was always a fragrance everywhere,” she says. “Every corner of the house had a potpourri pillow or sack of flowers or a heated candle You were always smelling something beautiful.”

Ferrara is survived by her mother, Clara Ferrara; her brother, Ralph; her sister-in-law, Barbara; and her niece, Mia.