HORNELL-John A. Dessena, 89, formerly of 43 East Main St., and 2 Holly Terrace, Hornell, died Friday morning (November 17, 2017) at Hornell Gardens, following a long illness.
A native & life resident of Hornell, he was born April 13, 1928 and was the son of Joseph & Mary (DeGaetano) Dessena and the stepson of Teresa Marie (Scaglione) Dessena.
John attended St. Ann’s School and was a graduate of Hornell High School (class of 1946). He was a veteran of the US Army, serving his country from 1946 – 1948. While in the Army, he was stationed for a time in Japan.
He was employed for about 44 years at the Erie Railroad, Erie Lackawanna Railroad and Conrail in many capacities. He began his railroad career by working in the Erie Shops and retired in 1988 as Division Engineer with Conrail.
John was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish and a communicant of St. Ann’s Church. He also had been a member of the Hornell Knights of Columbus, the Carducci Lodge (Sons of Italy) and the National Rifle Association.
He was a true outdoorsman who thoroughly enjoyed hunting (both with a rifle and with bow & arrow) and also loved fishing. For many years, John enjoyed long distant running and later he enjoyed taking daily walks.
He was married on June 28, 1952 to the former Julia Marino who died April 20, 1993. He was also preceded in death by his son, John Dessena JR who died February 3, 2015.
Surviving are two sons, Rich (Kathy) Dessena of Hornell and Carl (Terri LaVerde) Dessena of Hornell; 1 sister, Leona Dessena of Hornell; 1 brother, Joseph (Adele) Dessena of Hornell; 5 grandchildren, Lauren (Brian) Prunoske, James (Crystal Montoya) Dessena, Kaelyn (Matt Wilcox) Dessena, Matthew Dessena and Sam Dessena; 1 great-grandson, Zachary Prunoske; several nieces, nephews & cousins.
The family of John A. Dessena will receive friends on Friday (Nov. 24, 2017) from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday (Nov. 25, 2017) at 11:00 AM at St. Ann’s Church with final interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
In honor of John’s service to his country by serving in the US Army, the American Flag will be flown at half-staff at the Dagon Funeral Home.
John’s family request that memorial contributions in his name be made to either the American Diabetes Association, PO Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 435 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14620. Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral Home.
To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit www.dagonfuneralhome.com.