Local Obits

Obituary of Lisa DeStefano

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July 1, 1970 – May 12, 2024


Lisa DeStefano, 53, of Cortland, passed away peacefully on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2024 surrounded by her loving family.

Born July 1, 1970 in Cortland, Lisa was a beloved daughter of Remo and Rosa Verdone DeStefano and remained an area resident her entire life.

Lisa was a 1988 graduate of Cortland High School, and attended Tompkins Cortland Community College. Lisa expressed an interest in law, as she was always one to champion causes dear to her heart, and those less fortunate. She was a communicant of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Lisa’s life is considered a true miracle, being born with Osteopetrosis, a rare genetic disease. She learned to read and write in braille, and experienced life to the fullest, with much love, laughter, and happiness.

Lisa adored animals, most especially her dear cats, in addition to a fondness for wolves and goats, music, and Stephen King novels.

She is survived by her loving and devoted sister; Maria DeStefano of Cortland and her aunt Emma DeStefano of Ferrazzano, Italy, along with numerous cousins. Lisa is also survived by Stephen Smith of Cortland, who, with his late-mother, Doris Marie Smith, were steadfast, life-long caregivers and like a second family. Shannon Edwards of Homer, Lisa’s best friend and caregiver, provided years of companionship and love.

In addition to her parents, Lisa is preceded by Nicola (uncle) and Ida DeStefano, Michele (uncle) and Carmela Verdone, Giovanni (uncle) and Maria Verdone, Francesca (aunt) and Antonio Antonacci, Maria (aunt) and Pietro Rainoni, Eulalia (aunt) and Peppino DeStefano of Italy, and Teresa (aunt) and Miguel DeStefano of Argentina.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, with Rev. Malachi Clark presiding. The Christian Rite of committal and burial will follow in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. The family will be present to receive friends on Monday from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in the Chapel of Riccardi Funeral Home prior to the funeral mass.

Those who choose to honor Lisa’s memory in the form of a contribution are asked to please consider, CNY Snap 17 Salisbury St., Cortland, N. Y. 13045 or Access to Independence 26 N. Main St. Cortland, N.Y. 13045

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