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Mary I. DeFranco

November 3, 2016

Mary I DeFrancoMary I. DeFranco, 91, of Watertown passed away with her family by her side Thursday, November 3, 2016, at Samaritan Summit Village. Mary resided at the Summit Village since January 15 with her loving husband every day by her side.

Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown on Sunday, November 6, from 1 - 4PM. A prayer service will be at the funeral home on Monday, November 7, at 10:15AM followed by the funeral mass celebrated at 11AM at Holy Family Church with Rev. Steven Murray, pastor, presiding. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery.

Mary was born in Altona, N.Y. on January 11, 1925, daughter of John and Anna Marshall Harnett. She was a graduate of Altona Central High School and Loretta Business Institute, Plattsburgh.

On July 23, 1957 she married Myron F. DeFranco at Our Lady of Victory Church, Plattsburgh.

Mary worked for a short time for the Veterans Service Agency for NYS. She was a communicant of Holy Family Church, actively volunteered at church functions, and was a religious education teacher for 25 years. Mary was a long time Facilitator for Compassionate Friends, an organization for parents who have lost a child. She served on the Board of Directors of the Assisted Living Council and volunteered for the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary. She enjoyed 40 wonderful years at their cottage on Cranberry Lake with her family.

Along with her husband, Myron F. DeFranco, Sr., Mary is survived by her five children, Bennett C. Gardiner and wife, Laura, Windsor, Samuel J. DeFranco and wife, Dawn, Katy, TX, Leslie E. Knott and husband, Derek, E. Syracuse, Myron F. DeFranco, Jr. and wife, Robin, Adams, and Rebecca F. Fichtl and husband, Greg, Sewickley, PA; eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild with one on the way; sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Boulter, Watertown; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mary was predeceased by her daughter, Michelle A. DeFranco, September 10, 1984, two brothers, John H. Harnett, January 1997, and Robert Harnett, 2009, and by her parents John and Anna Marshall Harnett.

Donations in her name may be made to the Michelle A. DeFranco Memorial Nursing Scholarship, c/o Jefferson Community College, 1220 Coffeen St., Watertown, NY 13601. Online condolences to her family may be made at www.cummingsfuneral.com.

Mary loved life and wants this to be a celebration, so please wear something festive.


#21 Clare Carroll 2017-01-09 18:53
So sorry to hear that Mary had died. We lived in the same neighborhood many years ago. We will keep her in our prayers.
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#20 Jeff Queen 2016-12-25 15:33
Dear DeFrancos:
Jean Bach has written to me of Mary’s passing to God’s loving fold. Knowing her during brief north country visits over several years enlarged my life as she surrounded all who knew her with warmth and grace. I always felt part of the DeFranco family when I was with her. And could she could cook! Her smile, so amazing. Never a cross word or a raised eyebrow, ever. Only selfless, genuine love of others is how I shall enjoy remembering Mary DeFranco.
On this Christmas Day, I wish to say hello and send nostalgic cheer to all the DeFrancos. I think of you often.
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#19 Lorna Haralalka 2016-11-09 09:41
Mike and family, David told me Mary had passed. I am so sorry. She was the sweetest person! I loved visiting with her as a child and so lucky I got to spend time with her as an adult. God has another angel. Lorna
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#18 tom,diane beschle 2016-11-08 11:42
Mike and Family, Your Mary was a very special person. A walking, breathing, smiling personality that somehow combined love and grace into a human form. You will never know how much she meant to us during our darkest of days. Her inner love and pure light made our lives more bearable. God has called one of His lovliest angels and works of art home. We will always be grateful for her time with us. Thank-you Mary. Love,
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#17 Taffy Cameron 2016-11-07 15:18
My thoughts and prayers to everyone!
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#16 Michael DeFranco 2016-11-07 12:42
My cousin Mary was awesome!

She always had smile in when I saw her,

She and Myron always welcomed me and like my own mother; made the best home made cookies anyone would enjoy and remember,

Myron, to you and the family...I offer my condolences.

I am sad she was called home so early, but I know she is up there getting everything ready for the rest of us,

God Bless you cousin,.I want to thank you for bringing Mary in to all of our Lives,

All my thoughts are with you and yours.

Michael DeFranco
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#15 Kathy Latremore 2016-11-07 09:50
Dear Family,
In 1989 my brother-in-law died in a tragic accident at the age of 28. Mary and the Compassionate Friends helped my Mother-in law through those difficult days and months. I would always attend with my Mother-in-law, and will NEVER forget how Mary's Skill and Love was able to help guide those in mourning through to a point where they could see light at the end of the tunnel. Words can not explain the miracles that took place during those months. Not only for my Mother-in-law, but many others as well.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful woman with those who needed her so badly.
I extend my deepest Sympathy to the entire DeFranco family may you find comfort knowing your beloved Mary now rests in the arms of Jesus.

Rest in Peace Mary,
Most Sincerely,

Kathy Latremore Carthage, NY
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#14 John McElroy 2016-11-07 08:45
Mike, Ben, Rebecca and entire family, My deepest condolences and prayers. Mary was a great person, I had the privilege of meeting and knowing her. Her smile said it all, she was helpful to many, friends with many, what a pleasure to be around. She will be missed by all. John
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#13 gary grovesteen 2016-11-06 23:07
Bennett, I'm so sorry I didn't see this until after visitation. I remember you so well from our HS days. You were and are a good man. That says so much for your Mom. My condolences but also my congratulations for having such a wonder woman as a mother.
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#12 Susan Ryan Schenck 2016-11-06 12:29
To the Defranco family, so sorry to learn of the loss of Mary. She will always be a bright happy light in my memory of summers at the lake and of family visits in Watertown. Her love of life and family and her endless optimism and sense of humor brought joy to anyone she encoutered. Treasure your memories as you celebrate her life. Much love from the Ryan family.
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