Elena Cuoco Altemus Profile Photo
1928 Elena 2023

Elena Cuoco Altemus

November 15, 1928 — September 13, 2023



Elena Cuoco Altemus passed away peacefully on September 13, 2023, after a lengthy battle with dementia.


She was born in Naples, Italy on November 15, 1928, although she always claimed she was born in 1930. She grew up with her cousins in Naples.  During World War II her school was bombed along with several local churches.  The school was closed at the time.  After the bombings, Elena continued her education in a make-shift school, which was set up amid the destruction. 


In her later teen years and into her early 20’s, Elena was a model for a local boutique.  She was featured in many fashion shows as well as the local newspaper wearing the latest in fashionable swimwear and couture.


 In 1955, she married Frederick Mills Altemus, a native Washingtonian and a U.S. Navy sailor stationed in Naples. She then immigrated to United States (Washington, D.C.) and became a US citizen. 


She raised her 5 children in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland where she lived for over 50 years. She loved animals, dancing, music and dessert…not necessarily in that order. She was a strong-willed, feisty Italian with a heavy accent and a boisterous laugh, especially when her “bonus son” Gary walked in the door saying, “Hi Mom, what’s for dinner?”.  Gary was always her favorite!  Elena was often seen driving her old Valiant with Sweebee, the family dog who showed up one day and never left.  She fed all the neighborhood strays and was known as the ‘cat lady’ on Gaither Street.  Elena worked as a bookkeeper at the Flagship Restaurant in Southwest Washington until it was sold in 1985.


Survived by her five children: Fred (Kathy) Altemus, Maria Kincaid, Cindy Altemus, Dorothy Altemus and Anita Markham.  And her five grandchildren: Lauren Altemus, Evan Kincaid, Garrett Kincaid, Rob Markham and Ben Markham, three great-granddaughters and one due in October.


A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Lee Funeral Home, 6633 Old Alexandria Ferry Road, Clinton, Maryland 20735. Visitation at 11:00 AM, Service at Noon, followed by a prayer at the burial site at Resurrection Cemetery, 8000 Woodyard Road, Clinton, Maryland.


If you would like to attend, please feel free to wear bright colors. Elena would love it.


Flowers are welcome, however, if you prefer, donations can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at https://pages.lls.org/ltn/fdk/montcomd23/daltemus  in memory of Elena and in honor of her granddaughter.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elena Cuoco Altemus, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, September 30, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, September 30, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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