Christine Fusillo '72
The Manhattanville Community mourns the loss of Dr. Christine Fusillo '72 who passed away at her home in Greenwich, CT on September 26, 2010, surrounded by her husband, Bob O'Boyle, and her children Brian, Katie and Maureen. She was 60 years old.
Christine entered Manhattanville's freshman class in 1968 as a pre-med student and graduated with a B.A. in Biology. "Her quick smile, quicker wit, and comfortable presence, earned Christine friends easily and often," recalls dorm-mate Paula Gannon '73. "She engaged classmates on every surface of her rich, diverse personality: she was a bright and curious scholar; a careful observer, and a good listener. No sense of humor was keener or more hilarious; no disposition kinder." These attributes helped to guide Christine on a personal and professional journey that would find her consistently ranked amongst the Top Doctors in America and the New York Metro Area by Castle Connelly, one of the leading health care research and information companies in the country.
After earning her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1980, Christine completed her residency in Pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital (NYC, '83) and a fellowship in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at the RA Cooke Institute for Allergic Disorders at Roosevelt Hospital (NYC, '87). From 1984 to 1985, she was the Assistant Director of Pediatrics at NYU Downtown Hospital, then held a faculty appointment at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1985 to 1987. Christine opened a solo, private practice in Tarrytown, NY in 1988, which would become her principal office for the next twenty-two years. In addition to her private practice, Christine served as the Director of Pediatric Allergy at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at the Westchester County Medical Center and was Chief of Pediatric Allergy at New York Medical College, where she was also Clinical Professor of Allergy and Immunology. "Dr. Fusillo was regarded as one of the residents' favorite preceptors. Her rotation was one of the most popular rotations offered and it was always well subscribed," noted Beth Woolf, the Medical College's Education Administrator. "I learned a great deal from Dr. Fusillo," recalled a former student. "She had a great passion towards her profession and obviously cared about her patients. She was such a gem."
Born on September 4, 1950, Christine was a native of White Plains, NY and one of four children: twin sister, Cathy, and younger siblings Faith and Lenny. With the exception of her medical training, she was educated completely within Westchester County and, throughout the years, she "gave back" to the community in numerous ways, including serving as President of the Westchester County Medical Society and on Congresswoman Nita Lowey's Nutritional Task Force. Despite the onset of her illness in the spring of 2010, Christine continued to tend to her patients until mid-June; a testament to her love of the work she did and her conscientious commitment to all those who sought her knowledge, wisdom, service and care.
Christine came back to Manhattanville often, most importantly, on November 3, 1984, when she married Bob O'Boyle in the Manhattanville chapel. In the years that followed, Christine and Bob had three children: Brian (1986), Katie (1988) and Maureen (1989). Christine was, of course, proud of her career and all that she had accomplished in her professional life – and always much too humble to ever acknowledge or discuss it – but, if you were lucky enough to have asked her (and even if you hadn't!), she would have happily told you a story or two about the source of her greatest pride: her three beautiful children.
Christine loved the simple things in life: her family, her home, her garden; a drive with the top down on a sunny day; dancing to a song with a good beat; singing a song with a good lyric, and accompanying herself and others on the piano. Christine also loved Manhattanville, the time she spent there, the friends she made, and all that she learned both in and out of the classroom. Whether her time on campus was spent in scholarly pursuit or in pick-up games of basketball or tennis; starting a Simon and Garfunkel sing-a-long on her acoustic guitar or singing an Irish ditty; regaling friends with an assortment of stories or reducing Sisters Adele Fiske and Cora Brady to giggles with her antics at the cheese and cracker parties they hosted at Dammann Hall; Christine was totally engaged in the Manhattanville experience and all that the college had to offer: teachers, mentors and friends enjoyed in an environment of beauty and scholarship, all of which helped Christine attain the lofty goals she set for herself as a young girl...each step along the way lovingly encouraged by her mother and best friend, Kay.
There are no words more eloquent or profound than those written and spoken by her children as they eulogized their mother on that rainy October day in 2010 when Christine was laid to rest. For those of you who knew her "back in the day" -- and for those of you who didn't have that pleasure – their words provide a beautiful window into Christine's life; a life well lived, traveled with confidence and determination; a soulful path sewn with threads of love and laughter, compassion and caring, dedication and devotion, and woven into a fabric that is, and shall forever be, the exemplification of excellence...as mother, daughter, wife, sister, doctor, teacher, friend.
"I hope it makes you happy to know that I am pleased with life and my place in it."- Christine Fusillo
View the In Memoriam Guest Book
View Christine's Eulogy