Vincenza Alessi

Her time on Earth was far brief, but her legacy of love and caring goes on.

Cherished Vincenza Alessi, 28, became an angel on Sunday, April 10, 2022, after a two-year battle against a rare blood disorder. Heaven is so lucky to have her home.

Vincenza was a 2012 graduate of Cooperstown Central School, earning her degree in psychology and women’s studies from the State University of New York at Oneonta. She recently had earned her master’s degree in special education from Grand Canyon University.

Vincenza taught special education classes at Charlotte Valley Central School in Davenport, New York and, while studying for her master’s, substituted for two years at Cooperstown Central.

She loved teaching and her students adored her. She found great joy in the young children she was able to help and looked forward to a long career using her talents in her chosen field. Without knowing, Vincenza even taught the dieticians at New York Presbyterian Hospital how to expand and modify their menu selections; as her health deteriorated and she was eating less, she would ask her nurse for simple foods not on the menu: pasta and butter, pasta and red sauce, string cheese, salad with chicken. When she returned to New York Presbyterian for the final time several weeks ago, staff reached out to proudly show her a brand-new menu for patients -- one filled with the very dishes she had requested, now a part of the Hospital’s regular offering.

In and out of the classroom, Vincenza looked out for and cared for the disadvantaged. She never failed to be kind to people, always had a friendly wave for the people she met, and, even in the weeks before her passing, continued to feel genuine happiness for others celebrating their own good news. We were not surprised that even after her diagnosis, she still would stop to save lost and wandering dogs and cats to make sure they got home safely. If they didn’t have a home, she would find one for them.

Vincenza loved holidays, filling her home with decorations for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and any other special day -- although she was the person who could wake up on Tuesdays and celebrate that it was Tuesday! She enjoyed feel-good movies from Disney and Hallmark and, after ceasing her medical treatment, was able to hear her two favorite songs, “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran and “Hallelujah” by Rufus Wainwright.

She fought hard for her life for the last two years, enduring hundreds of blood transfusions and operations as she struggled forward. She was deeply grateful to the community for listening and taking on the conversation of bone marrow transplants to help those in need. We plan to continue to work the “Be the Match” program in her honor.

Our fearless Vincenza lived for light and renewal for everyone and, with that in mind, we plan a celebration of her life to take place in the near future at Glimmerglass State Park. We plan to offer seed packets in her honor, as she believed the world would be an even more beautiful place with more butterflies and birds attracted by flowers growing everywhere.

We thank the doctors, nurses, and entire staff of New York Presbyterian Hospital and Bassett Cancer Care for their care and kindness, and Helios Care for their caring and wonderful dedication to Vincenza.

Vincenza is survived by her mother, Ln Alessi, and brother Dante Alessi of Cherry Valley, half-siblings Nicole (William) Grueter and children of Medford, New York, and Christian Alessi of Oakdale, New York, Cindy and Jeffrey Treis of Duanesburg, New York, and her treasured pets -- cats Chloe, Mr. Magoo, and Theodoria and dogs Kiyah and Belle.

A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY  13326. At 7 p.m. that evening, a service will be offered with the Rev. Sharon Rankins-Burd, pastor of the Fly Creek United Methodist Church officiating. 

Arrangements are under the care of Connell Dow & Deysenroth.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.