Published in the Albany
Times Union from 11/29/2008 - 11/30/2008
Theodore Louis DeBonis,
86, beloved husband of the late Olga (Lanni) DeBonis, died peacefully
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 surrounded by his loving family and caregivers.
Born on December 10, 1921 in Troy, Ted was the first American-born son
of Daniel DeBonis and Maria D'Argencia who were born in the province of
Potenza in Italy. Ted attended School 10 and graduated from Troy High
Ted and Olga were married in Saint Anthony's Church on February 13, 1949
and were together for 58 years. They were longtime active members of Saint
Anthony's and later Sacred Heart parishes. Ted gave generously of his
time to Sacred Heart. He was an active member of the Saint Vincent DePaul
Society, an usher, he coordinated and ran the Sacred Heart bingo and volunteered
for church festivals to raise money for Sacred Heart School.
Ted was a true gentleman. People who knew Ted knew a man with unmatched
integrity combined with a sweet disposition, and a kind heart. He was
courteous, loyal and had a disarming and light-hearted sense of humor.
Even with strangers, Ted's warmth and generosity of spirit were quickly
evident. While humble about his accomplishments,
Ted was an extraordinary person who excelled as a musician, a professional
athlete and, a successful businessman. Above all, Ted was the kind of
father and husband that everyone would hope to have.
A gifted athlete, Ted was a catcher who played-professional baseball at
the AAA level for the NY York Yankees organization in the late 1940s until
1950 at a time when there were only 14 major league teams.
He also played for the Troy Boys Club in the junior twilight league and
was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1989. Ted coached the Emerald
Athletic Club's baseball teams, Sacred Heart teams and later attended
every little league game played by his youngest son, Paul and his grandsons,
Dan and Josh.
Ted was also a talented musician who played the clarinet and the saxophone.
As a youth, he was a member of the Troy Civic Symphony Orchestra and throughout
his life, he played with various community bands at many local venues
including nursing homes and events for seniors. He serenaded his family
from his basement "studio" several nights a week for as long
as they can remember and he passed his musical abilities onto (most of)
For over 50 years, he was the owner of Trojan Auto Supply, one of the
last independent jobbers operating all over the tri-city area and beyond.
He formed close friendships with his customers, many of whom were in touch
with Ted throughout his life.
He served in the U.S. Army/Air Force during World War II, where he trained
as a mechanic and was a member of their baseball team and their band.
Ted was the middle brother in the DeBonis Family, born and raised on Haverman's
Avenue in South Troy. He was predeceased by his two good friends and brothers,
Samuel DeBonis (Victoria) and Salvatore DeBonis (Joyce). Ted always expressed
how lucky he felt to have such supportive and generous brothers. Ted made
and kept friends easily even in the last years of his life and because
of that he will be missed by all who knew him.
Ted was the loving father to Edward Gerard DeBonis (Vincent Maniscalco)
of Averill Park, Judith Anne DeBonis of Santa Monica, Calif., David Alan
DeBonis of Albany, Mary Anne DeBonis-Kemmer of Cohoes, Paul Gerard DeBonis
(Michellene Griffin) of Studio City, Calif. and the late Theodore Louis
Jr., and Donna Anne DeBonis. He was the loving grandfather of Daniel Joseph
Kemmer, Joshua Michael Kemmer, Olivia Rose DeBonis and Griffin James DeBonis.
Ted was the good friend of his brother-in-laws, Robert Lanni (Mary Anne)
and Mario Lanni (Sharon); the loving uncle to many Lanni/DeBonis nieces
and nephews, and cherished cousin to his relatives in Pietragalla, Italy.
The funeral for Ted will be held on Monday at 10:00 a.m. from Bocketti
Funeral Home, 336 Third Street, Troy and at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart
Church where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Relatives
and friends are invited to attend and may call at the funeral home on
Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m.
Entombment will follow in St. Mary's Community Mausoleum in Troy. Contributions
in Ted's name may be made to Sacred Heart School, 310 Spring Ave., Troy,
NY 12180 or to Dr. Earl Zimmerman and Beth Bovin at the Aging and Memory
Clinic at the Alzheimer's Center of Albany Medical Center, 47 New Scotland
Ave., MC 65, Albany, NY 12208 to support their research efforts to help
patients and families suffering from Parkinson's and dementia.