DeStefanis, Anthony


Anthony DeStefanis entered this world on December 5, 1938, ready to enjoy life which he did with a smile on his face for 80 plus years. He was the son of Theresa (Camuso) DeStefanis and Dominico DeStefanis. Lovingly surrounded by family, Tony died on April 20, 2024.

Tony enjoyed his educational experiences from the beginning to end: Marieville Elementary School, North Providence High School, Providence College BA of history, Rhode Island College MEd, University of Colorado-Master of Economics Education, and Rhode Island College Certificate of Administration. He taught in Warwick Public Schools throughout his career at the upper elementary level for 26 years and 3 years as an elementary principal. As president of the Warwick Education Association, he was part of a team that negotiated the first teacher contract in Rhode Island. After his retirement Tony continued in the system as a substitute principal for about 10 years.

Tony loved music as much as he did teaching. He always had a guitar nearby whether in school, at home, or gatherings of family and/or friends. He joined a group of musicians who entertained at nursing homes around the state on a weekly basis.

Tony enjoyed scouting as a youngster and later in life enjoyed mountain climbing, hiking, golfing and skiing. Traveling abroad was another interest as he chaperoned People to People students and later switched to bicycle trips in Europe with a friend. For over fifty years Tony played cards weekly with a special group of friends.

Tony is survived by his loving wife Sonja Carlson DeStefanis and his two daughters Rebecca DeStefanis of Silver Spring, MD and her husband John Spirtas with their children Ben, Ella, and Marie, and Laura DeStefanis of Warwick, RI. Tony was very proud of his daughters and grandchildren. All of whom learned to sing a myriad of the 4th grade songs and nursery rhymes. As well, his many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews remember and often reminisce about the songs and tales he would tell.

Also, surviving Tony is his youngest brother Joseph and his wife Peggy, sisters-in-law Lucille DeStefanis, Ann Destefanis, Carol Carlson Cunningham, Raynee Carlson and husband Buzz Holmes, and Claudia Carlson Vars. He is predeceased by his sister Marie Pistacchio and her husband Paul, and brothers Vincent and Paul.

Tony held a special place in his heart for his family and extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held on June 8th (hopefully in our outside worship area) at 11:00 AM at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 124 Division Street, East Greenwich, RI 02818.

In lieu of flowers, donations to First Evangelical Lutheran Church, or Hope Health Hospice at 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904 would be appreciated.