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Surrounded by his loving family, Jimmy passed into his eternal reward on July 31, 2014. Born September 7, 1920, in Erie, to the late Santo and Theresa Marie (Chido) DeFazio, he graduated from Central Tech High School and served in the US Army
from 1942-1945, as a radio operator and in the field artillery, in the South Pacific, Guam, Sipan and Japan.
After he arrived home from the service, he met and married the love of his life Yolanda DiNunzio. They recently celebrated 66 years of marriage on May 22. Jimmy was employed at Bucyrus Erie, Erie Lithographic, Odin Stove, and served for nearly 40 years as the Supervisor of Grounds for the Erie School District. There was no job he was afraid to tackle! Before Astro Turf became popular, natural grass was the staple for athletic fields, and Jimmy was the "Grass Whisperer." People would say that he knew every blade of grass at Veterans Stadium, admired him, and sought his expertise for their own lawns.
He was a talented baseball and basketball player, a devoted Yankees fan, and a regular fixture at local college sporting events. He belonged to the YMCA, Nuova Aurora, and Calabrese Clubs, and was inducted into the Erie Sports Hall of Fame. Jimmy helped organize and run the Erie Special Olympics
, was a Times Old Newsie, and a proud member of the Ice House Gang. Jimmy belonged to St. Paul's and St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Churches, however, he could be found at daily morning mass all over the city.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers John, Sam, Art, Tony "Chocolates," and sisters Josephine Licata, Mary Felice, and Jennie Wroblewski.
He is survived by his beloved wife Yolanda, devoted daughters Jacqueline DeFazio and Ann Adams, son-in-law Ken Adams, and grandsons Anthony and Nicholas. He is also survived by a brother, Richard (Faye) DeFazio; a sister, Viola Cherico; a sister-in-law, Hazel DeFazio, and many loving nieces and nephews, who were ever present throughout his life.
A special thanks is extended to friends Carol Le Corchick and Debbie Brasington, and caregivers Debbie, Shirley, Deb, Candy, Kylie, and Maria, and the exceptional staff at Fairview Manor.
Family and friends are invited to call at the John J. Quinn Funeral Home, West 9th and Liberty St., on Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Saturday, August 2,2014 at 11:00 a.m., in St. Andrew Catholic Church, 1116 West 7th St. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Andrew's Food Pantry, or to a
Published in the Erie Times-News on Aug. 1, 2014