University of Minnesota

Sylvester J. (Sy) Sanfilippo M.D. Obituary

Sanfilippo, Sylvester J., MD Dr. Sylvester (Sy) J. Sanfilippo, 87, of Bloomington, MN and formerly of Edina, MN, passed away on May 2, 2013 at the Friendship Village senior living center in Bloomington. Son of Sicilian immigrants Salvatore and Rosaria Sanfilippo, Sy was born on January 1, 1926 in Rochester, NY, where he was raised and later met and married the love of his life, Edna Cannarella. Sy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rochester and both a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Utah. He also served for two years as a lieutenant in the United States Navy. Sy was a practicing pediatrician in Richfield, MN for 26 years, retiring in 1988. He is remembered by patients and their parents for his gentle and reassuring care, warm smile, and natty bowties. In addition to practicing medicine, Sy was a medical researcher and a lecturer at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Sy's research led to his identification in the early 1960s of a rare and fatal genetic disease now known as Sanfilippo Syndrome (MPS-III). A fan of the Minnesota Vikings, Twins, and Gophers, Sy also enjoyed attending performances of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Guthrie Theater, and the Theatre in the Round. He was an avid reader of history and took pleasure in travelling the world with his wife. Sy is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Edna Sanfilippo; his three children, Sarah Sanfilippo, Amy Demarest, and Robert Sanfilippo; his daughter-in-law, Patricia Sanfilippo; his seven grandchildren, Andrew, Julia, Carolyn, Laura, Sarah, Michael and Anna; his brother, Joseph Sanfilippo; and several nieces and nephews. Sy was preceded in death by his brother, John Sanfilippo. Visitation is Thursday from 5 to 8 pm at Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel, 5000 W. 50th Street, Edina, MN. A memorial service will be held Friday at 10:00 am at Friendship Village, 8100 Highwood Dr., Bloomington, MN. Contributions in Sy's memory can be made to the National MPS Society, PO Box 14686, Durham, NC 27709-4686. Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.
Read Full Obituary for Sylvester Sanfilippo M.D.
Published online on May 4, 2013 courtesy of Star Tribune.

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