Jane Pollicino, 59, spoke out for 9/11 families, dies

By Ridgely Ochs New York Newsday

Jane Pollicino, 59, of Plainview, who became a prominent voice for families of 9/11 victims after she lost her husband in the Twin Towers attack, died February 21. She suffered a stroke while on vacation with her family in Cancun, Mexico.

Pollicino was a homemaker when her husband, Steve, a corporate bond trader and vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald, was killed on September 11, 2001. Her children, Steven and Celeste, were 19 and 12 at the time.

“It was a life-changing event,” said her identical twin, Vicki Tureski of Southampton. “She really embraced this new normal as best she could.”

Pollicino found solace in volunteering at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center in lower Manhattan. She told Newsday that speaking about her husband on the tours was a kind of therapy, and she encouraged listeners to “appreciate what they have right now.”

She was outspoken in her determination to see that victims were properly honored, calling for a thorough investigation into the causes of the attacks, the respectful treatment of remains at the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island and ensuring that the names of victims were engraved at the September 11 memorial.

And she became very close to other 9/11 widows, her sister said. When the family, still in Mexico, needed someone to contact on Long Island after Pollicino’s death, they turned to another 9/11 widow. “That’s how close they became,” she said. She was also involved in the group Tuesday’s Children, founded to help support and mentor children who lost a parent on 9/11.

Born in the Bronx, she moved to Plainview when she was 12. She graduated from Plainview-Old Bethpage High School in 1971. With her twin, she attended Nassau Community College, where she met Steve Pollicino at a biology lecture during her freshman year. They dated for seven years and had been married 23 years when he was killed.

After completing two years at Nassau, she went on to graduate in 1975 from Buffalo State University with a degree in art education. She worked in admissions at New York Tech — where she received a master’s in college counseling — until soon after her son was born in 1982.

In addition to her twin sister, survivors include her parents, Beatrice and Michael Elefante of Plainview; son Steven of Monmouth Beach, N.J.; daughter Celeste of Manhattan; sister Laraine Angeline of East Setauket; and grandson Nicholas of Monmouth Beach.

Services are pending. For information, contact Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes in Hicksville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Steve Pollicino Memorial Scholarship, Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District (note in memo should read Pollicino Scholarship), Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, 50 Kennedy Dr., Plainview, NY 11803.

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