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Elizabeth 'Elsie' (Bell) Cancro

March 29, 1918 ~ February 5, 2020 (age 101)


Elizabeth (Elsie) Cancro, age 101, passed away peacefully on February 5, at Cedar Manor in Ossining, NY.

Elsie was born on March 29, 1918 in Tarrytown, the daughter of Pauline(Glass) and John Bell.

She graduated from Irvington HS in 1934 at age 15 and attended New Paltz Normal School graduating in 1937 with a provisional teaching license. She began teaching Kindergarten at Penny Bridge and for the East Irvington Schools for 9 years.  She continued her education in the summers at Buffalo State and received her BS in Elementary Education in 1941 and was awarded her permanent teaching license. 

On December 29, 1945, Elsie married Francis (Frank) Cancro and interrupted her teaching career to start her family.  She returned to teaching at Tranfiguration in 1954 and in 1957 she accepted a position at Hillside Elementary in Elmsford.  Besides teaching kindergarten, she was also responsible for implementing the Head Start Program at Hillside and served as assistant principal for two years. After a teaching career that spanned 36 years she retired in 1981.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Frank, her brothers Jim, John, and Paul Bell and her son John Cancro.  She is survived by her three children, Mary (Paul) Groleau, Hudson, NH; Paul (Jeanne Mary) Cancro, Tarrytown, NY; Peg Cancro (Lynda McKinnon), Kalamazoo, MI; five grandchildren: Eric (Holly) Groleau, Michael Groleau, Regina, Paul (Alexis) and Maria (Colin O’Dwyer) Cancro and 4 great grandchildren; Jon, Tim, Samantha and Scott Groleau, three sisters-in-law, Kathleen, Marie and Helen Bell and three generations of Bell and Cancro nieces and nephews.

She and her husband spent the majority of their retirement on Sunrise Lake in Middleton, NH where Elsie was involved in the community.  She served on the budget committee for Middleton, NH, the Farmington VNA board for 10 years as a representative for Middleton and as a member of the Farmington Women's Club since 1981, serving as its president from 1992-94.

She was an avid gardener, an award winning needle pointer and crocheter.  She enjoyed playing bridge with her friends in New Hampshire and into her 90's with new friends in Kalamazoo, MI. She was known by family and friends for her baking talents, most notably her Christmas cookies. Elsie was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew her.

Per her wishes cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to a charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth 'Elsie' (Bell) Cancro, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Mass
February 29, 2020

11:00 AM
Transfiguration Church
268 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY 10591

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