Myron F. DeFranco, Sr., 88, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Myron F. DeFranco, Sr., 88, of Watertown, passed away at his home Sunday afternoon, June 23, 2019. He was kind, wise, witty and patient. He was adored by his wife, children and grandchildren and brought dancing, laughter and joy to his family.

Myron was born July 3, 1930, in Tupper Lake, the eldest son of the late Samuel and Florence V. Barrett DeFranco. The family moved to Watertown and he graduated from Watertown High School in January 1948. He served in the US Army for a short time during the Korean War. He then attended Tri-State University in Angola, IN earning a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1954. Myron was a Licensed Professional Engineer in New York.

On July 23, 1957, he married the love of his life, Mary I. Harnett, at Our Lady of Victory Church in Plattsburgh. They spent their 59 years of marriage blissfully enjoying each other’s company and raising six happy, well-loved children. When Mary became ill, Myron dedicated his life to caring for her every need. She passed away on Nov. 3, 2016.

Myron retired in 1991 as the Resident Engineer of St. Lawrence County for the N. Y. S. D. O. T., after serving the state for over 37 years. He was a communicant of Holy Family Church and a member of American Legion Post 61. He enjoyed boating, fishing and the outdoors and was a jack-of-all-trades. In 1977, he built the DeFranco family cottage on Cranberry Lake with the help of his eldest son Bennett. The family spent summers enjoying the natural beauty of the Adirondack Mountains. His greatest joy in life was spending time with family.

He is survived by his five children and their spouses, Bennett and Laura Gardiner, Windsor, NY, Samuel and Dawn DeFranco, Katy, TX, Leslie and Derek Knott, East Syracuse, NY, Myron Jr and Robin DeFranco, Adams, NY, and Rebecca and Greg Fichtl, Sewickley, PA; twelve grandchildren and two great grandchildren; brother and his wife, John and Beverly DeFranco, Albuquerque, NM; sister and her husband, Mary Jo and Jack Charlebois, Dexter, NY; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Besides his wife, Mary, Myron was predeceased by his beloved daughter, Michelle A. DeFranco on Sept. 10, 1984.

Calling hours will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown. The funeral Mass will be celebrated noon Friday, June 28, at Holy Family Church with Fr. Vincent T. Freeh, MSC presiding followed by burial in Glenwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his name may be made to the Michelle A. DeFranco Memorial Nursing Scholarship, c/o J. C. C., 1220 Coffeen St., Watertown, NY 13601.

Online condolences to his family may be posted at