Anthony J. DeStaffan age 97, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 12th after a brief hospitalization in Clifton Springs. He was surrounded in love by friends and family who celebrate his long and well-lived life.
AJ was born in Syracuse NY on September 11, 1924, the son of the late Nicolas and Jenny (Tucci) DeStaffan. Shortly after high school, he proudly served in Europe during WWII as a decorated airman with the U.S. Army 425th Fighter Squadron.
He attended Syracuse University and graduated from the Maxwell School. Post that he attended St. Johns University Law School where he earned his Juris Doctorate. A long and varied career as an attorney in Newark, he always followed his mission in support of clients' needs with patient and empathetic legal advice. He was honored to serve as Counsel to the NYS Housing Authority for many years in addition to his innumerable other clients.
Always ready with his quick wit, advice, a clever smile and a twinkle in his blue eyes, AJ touched many with his unique brand of humor, compassion and knowledge of world-affairs and all things sports related. His passion for Syracuse Orange Basketball was rivaled only by his support and involvement in the Democratic Party. AJ was a very active member of St. Michaels Parish and served in many support functions and fundraising efforts for over 50 years. He was a proud Elk and a regular presence at Lodge #1249.
A most proud ‘family guy’, AJ is survived by a daughter, Michele James of NY, NY and a son Peter (Mary) DeStaffan of Charlotte, NC; two amazing grandchildren Briana and William DeStaffan and an extended family of wonderful cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Gloria DeStaffan in 2017.
Calling Hours and Memorial Services will be announced and held later this year. In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated in his name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105