November 24, 1930 – November 8, 2018
Thelma Serrano Caggiano was the daughter of the late Rosa Avile Serrano and Felix Serrano. Born in Manhattan on November 24th, 1930, she was only able to get through 10th grade before having to leave school to go to work.
Thelma loved working; her favorite job was working as a telephone operator for Southern Bell Telephone in Florida, because she got to talk with so many interesting people. Another favorite job was as a receptionist at the Barbizon Plaza Hotel, for the same reason. She held many other operator and secretarial jobs during her career.
She also doted on her only son, Jerry. One of her favorite things to do was go for a spin in his 1963 Buick Riviera. One route she loved was up Sheridan Road on the North Shore of Chicago.
Thelma was a Christian Scientist and a Presbyterian at different points in her life. She found great comfort in both religions. She also enjoyed modern jazz. And loved visiting Florida, California and Cape Cod. She had a wicked sense of humor and enjoyed sarcastic banter. (This talent lives on in her son and grandchildren.)
After spending most of her life in Manhattan and retiring to Florida, Thelma moved to Chicago in 1999 when her granddaughter, Zoe, was born. She helped take care of Zoe, and later, her brother, Enzo. She loved to slip both kids a bit of cash when their parents weren’t looking.
Thelma is preceded in death by her former husband, Jerry Caesar Caggiano. She is survived by her son, Jerry Joseph Caggiano, and her two grandchildren, Zoe Paradiso Caggiano and Enzo Stanton Caggiano.
A special thanks goes out to all of the amazing people at the Citadel Care Center in Wilmette, where Thelma spent the last two years of her life.
The family will hold a memorial service in New York City at the end of May, 2019.