Susan Lupinacci, a lifelong Huntington Station resident and the mother of Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, died Tuesday of heart complications in her home, her family said. She was 67.
Lupinacci was born Susan Di Spirito on Dec. 1, 1951, to Ann and Joseph Di Spirito. She was raised in a home on Seventh Avenue North with her brother and two sisters and graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1969.
Her father owned Di Spirito Meat Market on New York Avenue, which was later relocated and renamed Whitman Meats. It was there where she met her husband, Sal Lupinacci, who was working in the back of the shop and said he was drawn to her spirit and compassionate nature.
They married in 1978 and moved into a house on 11th Avenue, four blocks from her childhood home and where she would raise her two children, Chad Lupinacci and Allison Belfiore.
Sal Lupinacci, 67, said he and his wife complemented each other.. He was more laid back, where she was a perfectionist — keeping her home meticulously clean and growing her vegetable garden in neat little plots, Sal Lupinacci said.
Susan Lupinacci, who worked as a gardener and caterer, was also the “glue that held the family together,” Sal Lupinacci said.
Chad Lupinacci said, “My mother’s life centered on family and friends. She put everyone before herself and she had an enormous amount of love to give.”
When her son told her about his political ambitions, she always supported him. When he ran for a spot on the South Huntington school board, through his campaign for a seat in the New Yok Assembly and for town supervisor, she knocked on doors and helped organize her son’s fundraisers, often keeping his supporters well fed with her Italian cooking.
Chad Lupinacci said he spoke on the phone with his mother every day around noon, sometimes asking her for advice. The last time he saw his mother, she had come to Town Hall planning to freshen up his office with a new coat of soft yellow paint.
“She was very nurturing and always there for you,” her son said. “She was always there on the sidelines cheering you on and being very supportive.”
In addition to her husband and children, Susan Lupinacci is survived by her siblings, Edward Di Spirito, Dolores Kenny and Connie Di Spirito; and two grandchildren, Paul Joseph Naclerio and Sal Anthony Belfiore.
There will be a wake for Lupinacci on Monday at M.A. Connell Funeral Home in Huntington Station from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral will be held Tuesday at St. Hugh of Lincoln Church in Huntington Station at 10:45 a.m. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Cold Spring Harbor.