Community comes together to celebrate the life of Francene Cucinello

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WHAS11.com

Posted on January 17, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 18 at 7:09 PM

(WHAS11) - The community celebrating the life of WHAS radio personality Francene Cucinello three days after her unexpected death.
The world was a much better place for having Francene.  And I am a much better person for having known her," said Congressman John Yarmuth.
Nearly 700 people gathered at Southeast Christian Church Monday morning to remember WHAS radio host Francene Cucinello.
The talk show host died Friday at the age of 43 after suffering a heart attack and then an aneurysm after a short stay in the hospital. 
The memorial was broadcast live, and friends, family, loyal listeners plus local politicians all shared their memories of Francene at her "Celebration of Life."
The 9:00 a.m. hour on 84 WHAS began the same but Monday, and from now on, it is different.
While a different voice spoke over the airwaves, hundreds gathered to remember the old familiar voice of Francene.
 “Most of the people in this room didn't even know Francene's last name until last Friday.  Step aside Elvis, Cher, Bono, Madonna; to all of us, she was just Francene," said Dave Stone.
The celebration of her life went off much like her beloved radio show; giving you something to think about and every now and then, a reason to laugh out loud.
 “She was so young. Yet she packed 100 years of living into her 43 years. And she would be mortified that we told her age," said friend Kristin Emery.
 “Whether in a meeting or just in the hallway, she would always greet me with that huge smile of hers... followed by a wink. Now you have to be pretty confident to wink at the boss," said Bill Gentry of Clear Channel.
 “Good morning, I'm John Yarmuth: U.S. Congressman and Francene's Friday morning punching bag," said Congressman John Yarmuth.
Familiar faces and Francene's closest friends talked about her loyalty and her passion for people.
Her pastor shared the story of her final days when doctors thought she just might live, but they knew she would be paralyzed on one side, and lose her ability to speak.
 “Her mom said she could have handled the paralysis, but she probably couldn't handle not being able to talk.  And you know, god knows just how much we can handle," said Dave Stone.
Politicians would tell you it was because of her that they thought could handle anything.
"Often times people would say – “Man, Francene was tough on you today.  And I figured, if I could handle Francene, I could handle just about everybody," said John Yarmuth.
And every listener who began a day hearing her mantra could handle a little more too: “Life is short, so make the most of your time.
The family has set up a fund to go towards aneurysm research.
 You can donate at any BB&T bank by asking for ‘The Francene Fund.’
And if you want to share your memories or thoughts with Francene's family they ask that you e-mail those to them at Francenememories@gmail.com
 

 

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