Veterans’ grave stones discovered at Waterbury home

WATERBURY -- It's a good thing Rosa Arroyo and her boyfriend left no stone unturned during their current basement renovation.

In the midst of the makeover, the wood stove they removed seemed to be simply resting on concrete blocks.

"Then, once we got them outside, we flipped them over and we were like 'gee, these are really heavy' and, sure enough, they were grave markers," said Arroyo.​

One of those two stones honors Air Force Staff Sergeant Gerald Cucolo, a Korean War veteran. Arroyo contacted his brother through Facebook.

"And so that begins kind of a whole investigation of how did it get there," said Frank Cucolo, a Wolcott chiropractor.

The previous owner of Arroyo's home told the Republican-American he acquired those stones from Waterbury's Chiarlo Monumental Works, which he claims was discarding them as misprinted castoffs.

"He claimed that I believe he put it in his basement in 1984," said Frank Cucolo, who believes it was stolen.  " It's perfect. The spelling, the information is all correct." In other words, this foot stone was certainly not a misprint.

"Our veterans are so important and you know to disrespect them in this way just doesn't seem right," added Frank Cucolo.

While two stones were inside Rosa Arroyo's home, on Sunday, she made another discovery out by her garden.

"I looked down and, in disbelief, like 'you have got to be kidding me,'" Arroyo said. "There's two more perfectly cut, beautiful stones."

The Waterbury Veteran's Memorial Committee is working hard to reunite the other three families with their veterans' stones. In the meantime, those veterans will be honored by having their stones displayed at Veterans Memorial Park on Thomaston Ave.

The information on the three unclaimed stones is as follows:

John J. Costello Sgt. U.S. Army

World War II

June 18,1911 - Oct. 21, 1976

 

William M. Boylan Color Sgt.

World War I HQ CO. 325th Inf.

Died April 7, 1971

 

Francis D. Horrigan SSgt. U.S. Army

World War II

Sep 30, 1906 - Sep 28, 1974