Those who knew her say Lorraine Aycock was a "servant leader" who, as one friend put it, was "an extremely humble woman of God who devoted her life to caring for and serving others." She did it in her work, in her church, in her community and for her family.
"She was a wonderful trustee for many years," said Bishop Lionel Harvey, senior pastor of First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury.
"She also was member of the choir for many years. She also worked with our Sunday school. She was on my finance team. She was just invaluable," Harvey said. "She was just a wonderful soul. She had a great relationship with the Lord."
Aycock, who lived in Jericho, died Tuesday at age 53. Her family said after successful treatment for breast cancer in 2015, the cancer returned this year and spread.
"Even as her health worsened, Lorraine vowed to keep fighting. She pushed forward bravely each day of her illness giving thanks to God stating, 'I know God is using me for a reason. I may not know what that reason is and I don't know how much time I have, but I trust His word and I am grateful,'" the family said in a statement.
Vernell Glover of Uniondale, a spokeswoman for the Aycock family who served with Aycock in their church, said of her longtime friend, "She is such a giving person. She truly cares for people," unable yet to refer to Aycock in the past tense.
"I feel like the things she’d done for her job — community partnership — is tailor made for her. She was very adamant about education, especially with children," Glover said. She added Aycock had "always been a servant leader. A very humble woman. She had a willingness to give and be a resource to people … She sacrificed so much for her children, her family, just so they can have and be exposed to the best of everything."
At the time of her death, Aycock was senior vice president, community relations manager for Bank of America, a position she held for the past 14 years, bank officials said. She joined the bank in 2000, then known as Fleet Bank.
"Lorraine was long-term valued employee, who was loved by all of her teammates and everyone she came across in the community," said Bob Isaksen, Long Island market president for Bank of America. "She was actively involved and passionate about making a difference in her community. Our deepest condolences to Lorraine’s family. We will miss her dearly."
Aycock grew up in Roosevelt, graduating from the local high school. She received a bachelor's and a master's of business administration from Hofstra University, Glover said.
Her work and community involvement had a broad reach across Long Island.
"Lorraine Aycock was a highly respected member of United Way of Long Island’s Board of Directors, committed to Long Island youth and veterans, helping to improve their lives through education and career training," Theresa Regnante, president and chief executive, said in a statement. "Over her decade-long involvement with the organization, Lorraine was instrumental in establishing several important community impact initiatives, including the Bank of America Summer Youth Employment project, which has helped more than 500 high school and college level students."
Lawrence Levy, executive dean of Hofstra University's National Center for Suburban Studies, said: "She was both a banker and a philanthropist. That almost sounds like an oxymoron. She was that perfect mix."
Aycock's survivors include daughters Samara Jenkins, 17, and Aniela Jenkins, 14, of Jericho; sister Geraldine Aycock of Roosevelt; and brother Charles Jerome Aycock, of West Hempstead.
A wake for Aycock will be Oct. 2, 10 a.m. to noon, at First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury; mourners must wear face masks and social distancing will be maintained, Harvey said. A private funeral service will follow at noon. Burial will be at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.
The church has established an education fund for Aycock's daughters. Donations can be made to First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury, at 212 Garden St., Westbury, NY 11590. In the memo field write: In memory of Lorraine Aycock c/o Samara and Aniela Jenkins.