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Anthony (Tony) Richard DeStefano of Stoneham formerly of Woburn and Somerville died August 19th peacefully at home surrounded by his family.
He was born in Somerville on February 10th, 1929 and was the son of Giuseppe and Felicia (Randazzo) DeStefano. Known to many as Panco, Tony attended Somerville Public Schools and Boston Trade School, where he earned letters in hockey and was president of his senior class. Tony also holds an associates degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tony was a petty officer second class in the Korean War where he was a member of the Seabees stationed in the Philippines building air strips. He also spent an additional 4 years in the Active Reserve.
He had been employed in the sheet metal trade for 45 years and was an active member of Sheet Metal Union Local #17 (Boston) until his death. Additionally, he worked at the Watertown Arsenal and for Harrington Brothers until his retirement in 1991.
Tony built a summer home on the shores of Paugus Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in mind, knowing how much they loved the lake. A loving and devoted family man, Tony felt his family was his greatest accomplishment and the only thing that mattered.
A devoted volunteer for over 25 years, he spent his time at the Mission of Deeds, Lahey Clinic, Boston Regional and VA hospitals. He was a communicant at Saint Barbara’s Parish in Woburn, member of the Winchester Elks and a member of the Palm Beach Senior Baseball League. While wintering in Florida he volunteered at the Bethesda Hospital in Palm Beach and served on the Board of Directors at Crown Colony in Ocean Ridge until 2015.
A member of the Woburn and Stoneham Senior Centers, Tony participated in the Senior Olympics and won several medals for bridge and bowling. He was an avid bowler at the Woburn Bowladrome and played in many leagues. A well known coach of Somerville Youth Hockey and little league, Tony was frequently recognized and is still admired by the many players he impacted. His spare time was also spent helping his wife Barbara with her ceramic business Y-Not Ceramics where he participated in The New England Ceramics League.
Predeceased by his wife Barbara (Bonney) whom he was married to for 70 years. Loving father of Deb Iuliano and her husband Lou, Donna McCabe and her husband Dennis, Denis DeStefano and Richard who did not survive infancy. Proud grandfather of Michelle Aitbourezgue, Nicholas Iuliano and Alyssa Klein. Affectionately known as Papa Roni/Tony to his 6 great grandchildren Adam Anthony, Ayman and Amine Aitbourezgue and Reagan, Eliza and Natalie Klein. Tony spent the last 7 years residing at The Arbors in Stoneham and is survived by his sister Helen Gangi whom he spent the last two years with there. Predeceased by his siblings, the late Jennie Firenze, Charles, Donald, and William DeStefano and survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Tony was a friend to everyone he met and he had a naturally sunny disposition. He was absolutely without guile and devoid of cynicism and pettiness always. Tony’s glass was always half full. He taught his children and grandchildren the importance of working hard, to love what you do, and to always be kind. His kind and gentle spirit will be greatly missed by his family and all that knew him, especially his friends at The Arbors.
Upon his request services will be private and held at the McDonald-Finnegan Funeral Home in Stoneham with interment at Woodbrook Cemetery in Woburn.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Somerville Youth Hockey League or the Sheet Metal Workers Local #17. Please make checks payable to either Somerville High Hockey Scholarship or Local #17 Sheet Metal Union Scholarship and send them to Salem Five Bank at 359 Main Street Stoneham, MA 02180.