Cesari, Dr. Henry Anthony
Dr. Henry Anthony Cesari passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on November 21, 2013. He was a devoted, loving father and husband, with a profound dedication to his family, his friends, his work and his community. He had an indomitable essence of inner strength and integrity. His actions and well-chosen words were a consistent expression of his enduring kindness and humility. Those who had the opportunity to know him through his friendship, his profession or his civic contributions, came away with a lasting sense of his genuineness and concern for others. Though quiet by nature, he was a wonderful conversationalist and could discuss a wide range of topics with insight and intelligence. He had an unflagging generosity of wit and met everyday situations - no matter how challenging - with a wry, uplifting sense of humor. His positive attitude, laughter and smile will be long remembered and sadly missed by those who knew him. He is predeceased by his parents, Salvatore and Mariannina (Ricci) Cesari; his wife, Lucy Marie (Rossi); and his daughter-in-law, Susan (Burroughs) Cesari. He is survived by his sister, Mary (Sidney) Mann; his children, Carina Bernadette, Henry Anthony, Lucy Marie, Camille Louise, Andrew Phillip, and Antonia Rossi (David) Lieb. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Michael Andrew, Anthony William and Gina Marie Cesari; Cristina Lucia Cesari and Daniel Andrew Elliott; Isabella Carina Aguilera; Olivia Marina and Gabriel Brian Lieb; Jack Henry Cesari; and a great-grandson, Enzo Rossi Cesari Joseph; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Henry embodied the tenets of hard work, perseverance and an unending desire to learn more about the world around him. Attending high school in Elmira, he began his college education at Syracuse University and, after receiving an appointment to the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis), graduated with a bachelor of science in engineering in 1945. He was commissioned as a naval officer and served aboard the U.S.S. Houston during World War II commanding gunnery and aircraft catapult operations. He continued his education at Syracuse University and went on to earn a DMD from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1952. He continued his medical studies in the specialty of oral surgery at Bellevue Hospital (NYC) and returned to Elmira in 1954. Having learned carpentry and cabinet-making as a union apprentice in high school, Henry built his own medical office at the corner of Church and Elm Streets. He opened the area's first professional practice specializing in oral surgery in 1955. He became board-certified in oral surgery in 1965. Satellite offices were added in Corning (1966) and Waverly (1986). He retired from the formal practice of oral surgery in 1992; the practice is continued today by Drs. Pochal, Farr and Brown. Henry belonged to a number of professional organizations and was a member and served as president of the Sixth District Dental Society. He was also a member of the American Society of Oral Surgeons. He believed strongly in continuing his medical education and regularly attended conventions and seminars for that purpose, often accompanied by his wife, Lucy. Henry's time away from work was spent with his family, serving his community and pursuing a wide range of interests and activities. He was elected to the Elmira School Board and served as its president; he was a charter member of the Chemung County Human Relations Commission; he was a long-standing member of the Elmira Rotary Club; he served as a Scout leader (Den 7 - Hoffman School); and he volunteered for numerous functions and fundraising events throughout the community. He was a member of the U.S.S. Houston Association and regularly attended reunions of his former shipmates. Carpentry and construction were his second callings. He spent many nights and weekends making improvements to his office or renovating houses in the Near West Side. He also worked as lead carpenter and construction supervisor for his father-in-law (Anthony "Tony" Rossi) on numerous commercial projects; among these was the construction of Paramount Lanes (Horseheads, NY) where he served as project manager and foreman. He could install, fix or restore virtually anything that had to do with a yard, a house or a building. He would often be seen on Saturday mornings in his "work clothes" buying materials at Robinson's or Chapel's, getting advice from the guys at the counter and leaving with his utility trailer fully loaded with lumber, wallboard and doors. Henry was an excellent athlete - playing freshman lacrosse and football for Syracuse University and earning letters in varsity lacrosse for the U. S. Naval Academy. He learned the game of squash in college and continued to play throughout his life, routinely competing with players a fraction of his age. He was an accomplished bowler - starting as a pin-chaser in the 1930's at Rossi Lanes - and participated in local leagues well into his 70's. He had a passion for golf and he cherished the time and opportunity it afforded him to be with his friends, most often playing the courses at the Elmira and Corning Country Clubs or Soaring Eagles. He was an avid fisherman, boater and Adirondack backpacker and especially enjoyed being on, in or near water in its natural state (that Navy thing, no doubt). He was a devoted fan of Syracuse and Navy collegiate sports and attended games whenever possible. The pilgrimage to the Army-Navy football game was a frequent family tradition. He was a lifelong Yankee fan from the golden days of radio with announcers like Mel Allen and Red Barber. He followed the players, their stats and the standings and seldom missed a broadcasted game. Beyond all that Henry accomplished - and above all that he contributed to those around him - he was the steadfast, unwavering heart and soul of his family. His love, generosity and dedication to them were constant and absolute. Together with Lucy, his beloved wife of 60 years, he took on the voyage of life with courage and an insuppressible optimism. The passing of his spirit is, at once, mourned and celebrated. A commemorative service celebrating Henry's life will be held on December 30th at 4 p.m. at the Park Church in Elmira. A reception will follow immediately at the church in Beecher Hall. In lieu of flowers, please mail donations to St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation (571 E. Market St., Elmira, NY 14901). Burial at the convenience of the family in Sts. Peter & Paul's Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Kalec Funeral Home Inc.
Kalec Funeral Home
705 E. Church St. Elmira, NY 14901
Published in Star-Gazette on Dec. 29, 2013