Family members, friends and co-workers of Debra Cotugno, a 30-year Town of Huntington employee, gathered Tuesday at the unveiling of a bench in her honor in the Town Hall courtyard. The bench, which has a plaque that reads, “In loving memory of our friend and Town of Huntington co-worker Debbie Cotugno,” was paid for through dozens of donations that amounted to $1,571.
Cotugno, 53, of Deer Park, was paralyzed as a child when she broke her neck diving into a pool, but friends and family say she did not want to be considered handicapped. The “banking guru” of the department of audit and controls died of sepsis on Sept. 9.
“We’re honoring her dedication and her will to be just like everyone else, even though she was in a wheelchair,” co-worker Donna Rossetti said at the ceremony.
In the photo is Debbie’s brother, Angelo Cotugno, grand nephew Dominick Tutoli, nephew Joseph Tutoli, sister Annemarie D’Attoma and niece Jacqueline Cotugno.