Charlene McCullick passed away on Monday, November 5, 2018. Charlene was born on October 8, 1944 in New Haven, CT to Antonio and Margaret Masella. She grew up in Milford, CT and Fort Lauderdale, FL, which became a popular vacation spot for her extended family who remained in Connecticut. She graduated from Stranahan High School and remained in Fort Lauderdale to raise her children, Bryan and Mary. Charlene enjoyed being involved in Bryan and Mary’s activities, whether it was serving as class mom, attending any number of sporting events or hosting their friends for a delicious meal at the family dinner table.
After Bryan and Mary graduated, Charlene’s professional career took her to Chicago, Illinois and New York City. Serving as a long time administrative assistant for Citicorp’s Chief Risk Officer, Jorge Bermudez, she had the opportunity to move back to her original hometown of Milford, CT. She loved attending St. Gabriel’s Church, actively participating in Parish activities. The highlight of her time there, however, was spending time with her extended family. She loved the fun afternoons spent in the yards and kitchens around Milford as the family came together to prepare meals, discuss local politics, and just get together.
To be a guest at Charlene’s dinner table was a treat. Her Italian heritage became obvious through the meals she served, and she loved telling stories about learning to cook from her relatives. She rarely sat down when she had guests because she delighted in making something special for each person, including ribs, Manhattan clam chowder, and pizza – an amazing dish handed down by her grandmother and mother with no written recipe available. When Charlene and her children visited Italy for the first time in 2005, Charlene enjoyed tasting food that reminded her of her grandparents, and during the trip, residents would speak to her in their native tongue, mistaking her for an Italian. She loved the trip so much that she returned with her daughter, Mary, a few years later and was amazed with the scenery of the Amalfi Coast.
Charlene loved many things, including Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jordan, and Andrea Bocelli, but her greatest joys were her two grandchildren, Adaline McCullick and Jude Sommervold. Her eyes would light up when she shared stories about Adaline’s latest soccer game or Jude’s newfound love of bike riding. She spoiled them by making their favorite dishes – homemade cheese pizza and chicken cutlets were popular requests – and loved spending time coloring, building block houses, and reading books when they spent time with her.
Charlene was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, James Masella. She is survived by her children, Bryan (Alison) McCullick and Mary (Brian) Sommervold, her grandchildren, Adaline McCullick and Jude Sommervold, Ron McCullick, and many cousins across Connecticut, including the Richetelli and Masella families.
Special thanks to the staff at Home Instead, University Cancer Care, and Compassus Hospice for their care and support. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church (958 Epps Bridge Parkway, Athens, GA 30606) or The Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia (P.O. Box 49309, Athens, GA 30604).