AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB)- Lucie McNulty would be 69-years-old if she were still alive.
The body of the former Williamsville Central music teacher was recently found in her Maine home. Police say she died of cardiovascular disease, and had been dead for more than two years.
McNulty began her teaching career in 1970 at Maple West Elementary in Williamsville. She also taught at Heim and Casey Middle Schools; she left the district in 2001.
Philip Rothman recalled band practice at Heim Middle School 28 years ago. The now professional composer told News 4 McNulty brought the best out in her students.
“From the perspective of an 11-year-old, I seem to recall her being a good teacher. Strict but enthusiatic, and at least to my sixth grade ears, she got good results,” he said.
Like many of his classmates, Rothman heard the news of McNulty’s strange passing via Facebook.
“I remembered her instantly. Although to be quite honest, I hadn’t really thought about her in like, I guess it was 28 years, it’s been that long,” he said.
“When I read the article, my heart sank. It was just such a sad story.”
A former colleague of McNulty told News 4 he could always tell which students were hers, based on their sound.
She owned a home in Amherst for several years on Capen Boulevard, but has no known living relatives. The former colleague also told News 4 McNulty never married or had any children.
According to police in Maine, she was a recluse and a hoarder.
Wells Police Lieutenant Jerry Congdon told News 4 McNulty indicated to a friend that she wanted to move to Maine to be left alone.
Police performed two welfare checks on McNulty after she had already passed away, but they said there was no evidence of foul play or any reason to be concerned.
They said they guessed she was staying with relatives or out of town.
One individual informed police their Christmas card to McNulty was returned.
“That by itself it really doesn’t give you the suspicion to break into somebody’s house,” a detective said.
Congdon said neighbors reported she used to receive several boxes from UPS and FedEx every week.
“She had multiple possessions. There was things literally stacked from floor to ceiling,” the detective told us.
Congdon told News 4 her home was neat and organized, but filled with stuff.
McNulty stopped paying taxes in 2011, but what eventually tipped police off is the overwhelming amount of returned mail.
“The reaction is pretty uniformly “I can’t believe this happened, I wonder what ever happened to her, my goodness she was flute teacher, she was band director,” Rothman told News 4.
The Williamsville Central School District did not offer a specific comment on McNulty’s passing.