October 20, 1947- November 24, 2017
It is with a heavy heart that we must say goodbye to another Island angel. Mercedes (Cookie) Lugo has been a staple in our community since 1976. Moving here from the Bronx with her two boys, Joey and Eric, was a huge step for her, but she was open to this brand-new adventure. She quickly made friends and embraced her new Island life. Volunteering for the cub scouts, Special Olympics, and various events came naturally to her, as she was such a giving person. She was even a little league coach. “A walk is as good as a hit!” was her famous line, which she would yell from the dugout. After making Roosevelt Island her new home, she gave birth to her third child, Fabian, who completed the trio. She was so proud of her three sons, and made sure that everyone knew it.
Cookie worked for GMAC for 18 years, then moved on to work for Marino and Piltz Physical Therapists, where she worked until retirement. However, she really never stopped working. Mercedes spent the majority of her time volunteering at the Senior Center. She never stopped moving, and was always on the go. According to her mother, Sophia, Cookie was never home. The phone rang constantly and people would ask, “Is Cookie home?” Sophia would respond, “Siempre en la calle,” which translates to, “Always in the street.”
Indeed, Mercedes rarely stayed indoors. She loved to roam around the Island on her bicycle, relax on the meditation steps, fish, plant in the garden, get involved in anything and everything. Moving to another place was never an option for her. She would always say, “I love my little Island.”
Baila! Baila! Baila! They didn’t call her the dancing lady for nothing. Wherever there was good music playing, Cookie was right there, front and center, dancing and getting everyone involved in the entertainment. She was truly the life of the party!
Mercedes’ fearless nature and giving heart made her a beautiful woman with the biggest smile.
Mercedes’ favorite building in New York City was the Empire State Building, which she could see from her bedroom and living room windows. So, we ask of you, the next time you take a look at the Empire State Building, think of Cookie as a bright light that will forever shine in our hearts.
Please come and join our family and friends in a celebration of her life at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street, on Sunday, December 3, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.