YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Yorktown residents are mourning the loss of one of their own who died last week from COVID-19.

Edwina “Lu-Lu” Milano Rance, a lifelong Yorktown resident, was 71 and, her family said, a beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

Friends of Rance said she was giving, loving and there for anyone in need.

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Her sister, Clarissa Milano, said it was a struggle to put into words the love she feels for her sister. 

“She was always a second mother to us,” Milano said, referring to herself and twin sister Cassandra Milano.

Rance graduated from Yorktown High School in 1966 and cherished her blue and white convertible Corvette, which she was gifted at 16 years old.

According to her sister, Clarissa Milano and Edwina Rance’s son, Ronald Freyer spent many years working in the medical field taking care of the elderly.

Ronald Freyer said that she befriended anyone she met, especially the two women she cared for through her job who were in their 90s.

“She was just such a caring person; she did a lot of work for the community,” Ronald Freyer said. “There was just nobody she wouldn’t help. She would always help out. She worked for an agency that cared for elderly people, so she would go; it was almost like she would be a friend to them, which she [was]. They became friends, but she would go shopping for them. She would go shopping with them, take them out to the stores, take them exercising. Take them out, keep them active, and they had a friend; they had someone to talk to.” 

Mary Capoccia said she befriended Rance 11 years ago when Rance was one of the leaders of the Yorktown Republican District Party.

“I don’t know how to describe her...First of all, she was a great mom, loving mother, loving grandmother and did everything for her children and her grandchildren, but she was one of those women that she never said no,” Capoccia said. “You asked her for something and she was your friend; she helped with everything. She just gave her all to everything but most importantly she was just a friend to all.”

Many said Rance always had a smile on her face.

“She was an awesomely nice person. Always upbeat and always smiling,” Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli said.

Town Supervisor Matt Slater said during his briefing on Friday, April 3, that Rance was a personal friend of his and his family.

“She had a true Yorktown attitude and a smile that can warm the coldest day,” Slater said. “The only thing that she loved more than Rita’s Ice was her family. On behalf of the entire Town Board and the entire town of Yorktown, our heartfelt prayers go out to her family during this incredibly difficult time.”

“We can’t let her be just a number,” Slater continued. “This revelation, this unfortunate news really needs to prove the seriousness of the situation that we’re all facing, that our community is facing. Choices do matter. We can’t be careless with our neighbors’ lives. The decisions we make don’t just impact ourselves, don’t just impact our families, but they impact our neighbors and even complete strangers.”

He acknowledged that it’s a scary time for everyone and urged residents to practice compassion.

“It’s a time for us to be more sensitive and a time for us to just love more, not just the people who we know but the people we don’t know,” Slater said. “This is a fight like we’ve never seen, but Yorktown doesn’t back down from a fight.”

In addition to Ronald and her two sisters, Rance leaves behind another son, Daryl; and two grandchildren, Gracie and Tucker, who were described as her “whole world.”