Phillip T.'s Story

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Phillip T. Paonessa, Sr., 97, of Niagara Falls, NY, passed away on Friday, December 22, 2017 at Mt. St. Mary's Hospital. Born on March 8, 1920 in Niagara Falls, NY, he was the son of the late Frank and Rose Paonessa.
Phillip was a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls. He attended local schools and graduated from Trott Vocational High School in 1937. Phillip served in the United States Army during World War II and was involved in the campaigns of Central Europe, Naples Foggia, North Apennines, Rhineland and Rome Arno. He was honorably discharged on November 9, 1945 and awarded the European African Middle Eastern Service and Good Conduct Medal.
On June 5, 1947, he married Mary Ann (Sofia) Paonessa in Sacred Heart Church. Mrs. Paonessa predeceased him on September 19, 2016.
At a young age, Phillip worked at his family's grocery store, Paonessa's Deli, located at 23rd St. and Ferry Ave. in Niagara Falls. He went on to work at the International Paper Mill, Oldbury Electro Chemical Company and as a bus driver for N.F.T., until becoming a New York State Park Policeman. Phillip served 27 years with the State Park Police before retiring in 1988.
Phillip was a member of the American Legion LaSalle Post 1142. In his leisure time he enjoyed gardening, horse racing, reading, word search and crossword puzzles. He had a passion for the NY Yankees, swing and jazz music, and keeping physically fit. Phillip and his wife, Mary Ann, also enjoyed spending the winter months with their youngest daughter in Las Vegas, NV.
Mr. Paonessa is survived by four children, Dianna (Edward) Piotrowski, Phillip Paonessa, Jr., David (Risa) Paonessa and ReneƩ (Steve) Whobrey; five grandchildren, Michael (Jennifer) Piotrowski, Joseph Paonessa, Dana (Martin) Mis, Lisa Paonessa and Olivia Whobrey; three great-grandchildren, Sofia Mis, Violet Mis and Brynlee Piotrowski; as well as several nieces and nephews. He was also predeceased by four brothers and one sister, Joseph Paonessa, Paul (Mary) Paonessa, Josephine Paonessa, Frank Paonessa and Louis (Doreen) Paonessa.
Mr. Paonessa's family would like to thank the fifth floor staff of Mt. St. Mary's Hospital for their compassionate care.
Visitation will be on Friday, December 29th from 4-8 PM at the M.J. COLUCCI & SON NIAGARA FUNERAL CHAPEL, 2730 Military Road, Niagara Falls, NY, where funeral services will begin on Saturday, December 30th at 9:15 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM at St. Vincent De Paul Parish at Prince of Peace Church, 1055 N. Military Road, Niagara Falls, NY. Interment with Military Honors, in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101.
Visit mjcoluccifuneralchapel.com for online guest register.
Published on December 26, 2017
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